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I never thought of this. These guys are brilliant.  Connecticut and New York have figured how to keep food stamp (SNAP) benefits at their current level.

First how they were cut.  In the Farm Bill just passed, the Republicans insisted and got a large reduction in the amount being paid for SNAP (food stamps)… This huge reductions can devastate economies in states with large numbers of recipients.  If you take a 20% cut,  close to 20% will be cut from being spent in Grocery stores, thereby hurting the economy.

In a piece of legislation primarily aimed against Blue States, the Republicans targeted a program called “Heat and Eat” in which states states could qualify residents for higher food stamp benefits by giving them a small amount of heating assistance.. That level used to be $1 dollar.  The new law raised that to $20 dollars thinking that no state would pay the premium and that would force cuts to the Federal Program.

The genius is in the benefits and rate of return…

Connecticut will spend about $1.4 million in federal energy aid, increasing benefits for 50,000 low-income Connecticut residents from $1 to $20 so they do not lose $112 in monthly food stamp benefits…… It will preserve about $67 million in food stamp benefits….So the rate of return for Connecticut is 4785% (correct, thousands) meaning that for every dollar spent on heat,  Connecticut gets $4785 dollars back in food benefits to be spread thoughout their state….

New York will spend about $6 million more towards the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program’s funding to maintain food stamp benefits totaling $457 million… New Yorks rate of return is 7611% meaning for every dollar spent, they get $7,611 dollars back.

Now if they would just raise taxes on their one percent’s income to pay for those small increases, .. it comes as free money….

If only Delaware could quickly jump on the wagon and get those dollars into our state and make the Republican supporters in this state, pay for the damage their Republican campaign funds do to both our state and the United States of America….

But alas. we are stuck fighting the battle of Common Core… instead of truly fighting for education by fighting against poverty…..

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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….


Courtesy of the NRA

This ad would appeal only to the sliver of those who would rejoice to see Obama, Michelle, or his girls shot dead in cold blood; that extreme group to whom if this would happen,…it would “make… their… day.”

Is the NRA’s extremism eroding the 2nd Amendments rights for all? It did in New York. The tone-deaf policies of Wayne LaPierre really pissed both Democrats AND REPUBLICANS off up there. As a result, probably due to anger against the NRA more than anything else, New York just exercised their rights under the Constitution and and set the cause of gun rights back 225 years..

It is the NRA’s fault.

How?

If someone has a viewpoint on a topic of no concern to you, let us randomly pick….. tariffs on Paraguay, whatever transpires pro or con affects you …. say, not at all… You couldn’t care less.

Now say, a proponent of extending those tariffs follows you around, stalks you, and whenever he can get close enough, he punches you in the head. You start to develop an opinion. That opinion is not favorable to extending those tariffs….. In fact, you start to take an interest in purposefully defeating that tariff extension, and maybe get personal satisfaction that it is having such a hard time going forward…

You really have no concern that by not extending them 4 million Paraguay citizens would lose employment and fall into destitute poverty. By your natural inclination (until you started getting beaten up), you probably would have supported helping Paraguayans escape poverty… You are not really mad at the cause; but for some reason you just hate the lobbyist….

After today, card carrying NRA members owning guns in New York 1) should burn their NRA membership card. 2) join the Democratic Party which WILL protect the 2nd amendment, as long as lobbyists for the NRA aren’t punching them in the head….

No one can blame New York state for doing what they did after the Newtown tragedy. You should blame the NRA for bullying legislators so aggressively that they enacted even more Draconian measures than would have been effective….

Dragging the president’s daughters into the fight, questioning their need for security, suggests that the NRA is slipping further away from the mainstream. Gun-rights supporters deserve a better advocate.

So yes, the NRA is losing it…. Let’s review.

After Newtown, LaPierre called for all schools to have armed police officers in place. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said. We NEED an OK Coral shootout in each of our schools.

A shooting-range app for the iPhone and iPad branded as an “Official NRA Licensed Product” where the targets are children’s coffins, was released on the one-month anniversary of the Newtown massacre.

After meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on gun control, the NRA accused Obama of an “agenda to attack the Second Amendment,” a gross distortion of the president’s position. Please see the mild recommendations Biden proposed.

Now let us review just what the NRA’s actions caused in New York, shall we:

TOUGHTEST gun ban in The nation just signed into law

1) Any gun holding over SEVEN rounds- out.

2) Any gun with ONE military feature- out. If you have one you must register it.

3) Closes every loophole on gun shows and private sales.

4) Background checks- mandated for EVERY purchase.

5) For ammo too- Mandated for EVERY purchase.

After spending $17 million this past election cycle in support of Republicans, the New York Republican Senate and the Democratic House, just passed the first NRA Backlash Bill in the nation. More states to follow soon…

The issue is an emotional one; the NRA is firing up the wrong emotions against gun lovers everywhere….
Burn your card. Pay them zero. Donate to the Democratic Party…

These actions are what will finally put thoughtful practices into place, like those done the day before in a completely Democratic state… Delaware under Governor Jack Markell, Lt. Governor Matt Denn, and Attorney General Beau Biden proposed much more moderate policies…

If you live in Democratic Delaware, you get to keep your guns.

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.

Supposedly on Newark High School’s Junior Varsity, is a future threat to High Schools across the conference….

Playing linebacker next year, he has already given 10 concussions, broken 5 opponents bones, and had one kid tell the coach, he was the reason that kid wasn’t staying on the team anymore…..

I heard this with raised eyebrow, and wondering if these values are truly the ones we want our kids to work for,…. decided to pass it on.

You have your radicals, and conservatives…

Radicals who want to cut taxes,and take drastic measures, bold untried steps, to strip government of its power, it’s authority,….

And then you have conservatives, who just want things to go back to the way they were before the Bush Tax cuts, … when everything worked. when everyone did better than the year before, when we all actually believed that if we just worked hard, applied ourself, we could retire with something saved up and enjoy our golden years…

In this regard, Republicans like McConnell, Boehmer, Cantor, and Ryan are radicals…. Democrats including Obama, Biden, Coons, are conservative….. We just want to go back where we were ten years ago… Is that so bad?

1. Proximity to one of the top research Universities in the country..

2. Well trained work force, ex Chrysler, GM, DuPont, Siemens,

3. Good relations between unions and management at all Delaware companies.

4. Proximity to Dupont Headquarters.

5. Delaware’s Corporate Legal System.

6. Delaware’s own underutilized and “cheap” access port for import and export ocean traffic .

7. Close proximity to the moneyed and power towns of Washington, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which is good for investor relations.

8. Nearby beach as incentive to draw top engineers from around the nation.

9. Soon to be built, cheap offshore wind power, which will help to moderate utility costs against the ever rising price of coal and natural gas.

10. By getting foot in Delaware’s door, GE could have an inside track at building and installing their top rated turbines off Delaware’s shores…

GE is looking for somewhere to build a new solar plant... Not one requiring tons of sun, but a place to manufacture the thin film necessary for the exchange of electrons necessary to make electricity. Driving down the cost of this film, will drive down the cost of solar electricity.. The lower the cost, the more it will be used, meaning less coal will be burned….

Lower Delaware is the best place in the nation for it.

.. and thanks Nancy for bringing this to our attention…. 🙂

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

One of the obligations of being in a family is that whenever one of your young relatives performs in public, you feel obligated, if not proud, to arrange your calender in order to go out and see them…..

So it was at the year end concert I attended tonight…….A gaggle of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders encompassing the entire range of talent humanly available, assembled wearing jet black pants and bleached white shirts, before parents and family to perform (or for some, to endure) their 15 minutes of fame.

After each of the individual class acts, the entire assembly of students was assembled for a grand finale.

They preformed their school song and the last song on the ticket was according to the program…..some patriotic song…..Of course I thought……

The piano started and among the children, the singing broke out……..

We are the colors of America. A bright and vivid tapestry, With each one shining bright, reflecting its own light, We are our nations destiny.……

Tears started to well…..

As my mind grasped the immensity of what I was beholding…..it was America I was seeing, right to the core….It was what makes this nation different from any other past or present…….

For on that stage, there were no blacks…..there were no whites……one could tell by the contrast with those clothes they were wearing…….just many, many, different shades of brown…..Some with red hair, were a light brown. others with black hair were a dark brown….But from the audience level looking up it would be rather hard to quantify among most of them whether we were gazing at a light skinned dark person, or a dark skinned light person in a majority of those pouring their hearts out in singing those words…..

So why is so much effort being used to quantify race in this election year. Who cares?

What was obvious to me, as one Delawarean school performed for their families, was anyone pushing us back down the way of division, was leading us the wrong way…..That is not where America needs to go. Rather we need to be going the opposite way….the way in which every American can prosper and by each person’s cumulative growth, together our nation prospers at the same time…. The key word is “every”. And I’d be willing to settle for a definition of 98% as being the practical definition of “every”.

America does not need to prosper….as Republicans have touted as they roll back taxes on the wealthy. But every human American does….if this nation is to remain a bastion of Democracy against the new threats of Russia, and China. both technological equals with vast resources at their disposal…..

There may come a time when we may need assistance from the rest of the world if our nation is to survive….. Having a multicultural nation would be our best defense against any national attack…. Who could not support a nation which allowed ones relatives to work and send back the very money one needed to survive upon?

Allow me the luxury of this theoretical example. One of our best defenses which we have going for us to keep China from attacking us, is to have a large number of Chinese living here and calling us their home…. How can an attacking nation convince its citizenery that we are evil when each individual soldiers relatives back home are telling him otherwise?

Likewise with Russians, Indians, Arabs, and Latin Americans…..Our common defense rests on our friendships, probably a little more than it rests on our weapons…..

America needs to become color blind…and recognize in some way that we are all some shade of brown….some are East Asian brown, some are Central Asian brown, some are West Asian brown. Some are western Eurasian brown. And some come from the Mother continent of Africa. Those indigenous Americans are immigrants themselves whose ancestors migrated across the Siberian land bridge and spread across both continents……Genetically among the whole planet’s pool, we are (rounded) 99% alike.

It is time for Obama. I haven’t paid that much attention. What is he? West Eurasian, East Asian? Is he west or east African? And if one honestly comes to terms with the fact that one really doesn’t know,.,… then how can that person automatically collate him as a black man, when my own television screen shows me his skin is light brown? Obama throws our racial stereotypes right on edge. Furthermore this controversy brings up a valid point. If any child comes from parents of two different shades of skin, why do we automatically call that child black? Why is he not white? This controversy is solved if we choose to call it as it is…. “If a dark brown mothers the baby of a light brown, it’s a medium brown…” “Whoop de doo.” Anyone with married friends of different shades of brown, who happen to have children, knows full well the impossibility of pigeonholing each of their progeny’s behavior based on their skin’s shade of brown…..

If one looks at race with a clear eye….it is laughable.

Our country is crumbling apart, is currently fighting just to say we didn’t lose in some dry ungamely place, and is flat broke. Meanwhile billions and billions, are spent switching corporations from one owner to the next, and back again at an even higher price…..and for what?

America cannot afford to stay the same……McCain is the same…..Hillary…..likewise is the same…..Yes, they both are good people….Yes, they both have reasons for proposing what they do. And yes, they could each make a much better president than the one we have just endure.

But to use Galactica termonolgy, America needs “to Jump”….. We need to move our entire nation, en masse, to some point into the future. The last person to make a jump of the likes we now need, was Franklin D. Roosevelt. The one before that, was Lincoln….. So these events don’t come that often.

It would be wise to reflect that as little as a year ago, even within our little forums here in “the first state”, there was general excitement among progressives of both parties, who were clamoring over whether Gore would eventually rise high enough in stature to take back the presidency, and after an 8 year delay, put us back on the proven course to success…..

It would be worth noting as well that at this time last year, Clinton was odds on favorite to be elected. So what has happened, is that an upstart has risen through his own party, and beaten back the efforts of a front runner, who all had assumed would waltz into the White House because there was no one who could beat her (sort of like the New England Patriots)……..But someone did, and when they came out of the fight, they did so unbloodied with negatives, as did their opponent…..Democrats across the nation have spoken….and this is… a nation of all…..Collectively they have said ” wow, we had two wonderful candidates; we each voted for our favorite; it’s tough to settle, but in the end, maybe by only a field goal, one will win.”

Undeniably the winner will need to jump America’s ship far into America’s future…..We can’t wait for the shattering of our infrastructure and economic markets, the poisoning of our planet, or the breakdown of our people to occur before we take action. We know what needs done and that action will need to be taken as quickly as possible. Having either one of the two candidates with a ligher shade of brown calling the shots, means we will still have to relive those same old controversies that should have been put behind us many years ago……

Race should not be an issue…..it certainly isn’t for kids in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades…..ask them…..They’ll tell you….”Who cares what shade of brown lurks in one’s skin? We’re all the same.”

Because that……. is what we do.