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Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10.2 per 100,000

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

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

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

This is post number 2000.

The only real significance is it is 150 posts more than where Tommywonk stopped exactly one year and fifteen days ago…

If some future historian looks back, I can only guess they may kindly make some note of the quality of thought that underlies these efforts, but my guess, is no one will ever notice…

Irregardless, as long as the urge to put thoughts down for others continues, we will go on. As usual, with no goal, no direction, and no ulterior motive. Probably upon reflection, my biggest surprise, right here, right now … is that I still enjoy it so much, and can’t wait to jot my thoughts down, click the button, and send them off to where ever cyberspace and the vast internet ocean, lets them drift….

For each of you who have become regular over the years, … thank you friend…

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.

Jockstrap….

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

Lol…

The health care industry is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries. Consuming over 10 percent of gross domestic product of most developed nations, health care can form an enormous part of a country’s economy. For United States, the health share of gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to reach 19.6 percent of GDP by 2016.

At today’s under inflated GNP, if this expectation holds true, 19.6% of 2008’s 14.2 Trillion GDP, equals a whopping industry of $2.78 Trillion each year… We are looking at just seven years away…. Seven years? Let’s see.. hmm.. how fast does that time fly by?

It was only 7 years ago we were being fed this:

Iraq has made several attempts to buy high strength aluminum tubes used in centrifuges to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. And we also know this: within the past few years, Iraq has resumed efforts to obtain large quantities of a type of uranium oxide known as yellowcake, which is an essential ingredient of this process.”

In such a short time, a person making $50,000 a year, can be expected to pay close to 20% or $10,000 each year for health-care.

Here is what the hoopla is all about.

$2.78 Trillion for an industry vrs. 20% out of pocket costs for every man, woman, and child alive in this nation…

It’s that simple….

Now those of us who constantly deal with conflict resolution in whatever capacity, know the consensus will probably be very close to the middle…

In this case, we are looking at this scenario:

$1.34 Trillion for an industry vrs. 10% out of pocket costs for every man, woman, and child alive in this nation…

That would cost each person $5000. The average spending at the peak of the golden years, 2000, was roughly $4000 dollars. Our costs would realign close to then. If you remember back that far, (seems like another century, doesn’t it) families, individuals, businesses, and insurance companies were all doing well.)

Since then, the medical profession, insurance companies, and hospital conglomerates, have swelled their heads with unreasonable expectations. It’s no wonder; the Bush administration allowed them too.

Despite media attempts to confuse the issue, it’s all about money. Who should have it? Should the medical interests be allowed to siphon off more of our Dollars from out of our pockets? Or should we, the citizens of this nation, be allowed to keep our own money? …

The industry groups have invested heavily to make sure only their views get taken into account. The health care sector gave $167 million in campaign contributions to congressional candidates in the 2008 election cycle, according to the watchdog group OpenSecrets.org. Health care companies poured $484 million into lobbying efforts in 2008, and are on pace to exceed that this year.

Separately, the drug companies have offered up $80 billion over 10 years to reduce prescription costs of seniors if a deal goes through, while major hospital groups agreed to a $155-billion reduction in Medicare and Medicaid payments to free up funds that would help subsidize coverage for the uninsured.

The political infighting on Capitol Hill has strengthened the hand of the health care groups, since liberals have been thwarted so far in their attempts to win speedy passage of the legislation through the House and Senate.

It’s not surprising,” said Harold Pollack, the chairman of the Center for Health Administration Studies at the University of Chicago. “If you were an industry that was one-sixth of the U.S. economy, and the government was already your biggest customer, and the government was undertaking a major overhaul of your business, you’d be spending a million bucks a day, too.”

For an argument to have merit, it takes two sides. So far, we have heard only the one side with all the money. The other side, those of us that have the money, need to speak up… after all, we are the ones with the money they are after… Our silence, will cause less to be spent on anything but healthcare… Our exclamations, will allow more money to stay in our pockets…

“Today, sound bytes, not sound policy, determine our country’s course…” Paris Hilton.

We can change that, and it starts with our own Senator Tom Carper.

In Delaware the 8% seems to have turned into a 4% cut.

The problem as expressed here before, is one of scale. We can easily say, just cut the number of people we don’t need, and let the rest do the work.

That does not stack up.

For one. Those people cut would rather have ninety – two percent of their pay, than none at all.

For two. Those who say the economic impact of an 8% cut on our economy, for some reason fail to calculate that the same impact occurs if 8% of the states employees are laid off.

For three. As citizens of this state, we receive much better service by having more human beings assisting us, than by having fewer who are paid well… Imagine, standing in line at the DMV with only two people processing applications? Don’t worry, we are told… they are being paid well… Uh, ok.

So the concept of trying to accomplish more with less should not be viewed as a vice and vilified by every labor union known to man. It should be considered a virtue.

The alternative is layoffs. or higher taxes to drive more revenue though our coffers.

The populist argument is simple. People matter more than money, so tax corporations and pay people money…. I like it.

But I can remember hearing from those responsible for making Delaware a corporate friendly state, exactly how much good change came from getting rid of those negatives that impact businesses…

We honor Russell Peterson for his Coastal Environmental Act, but look at the News Journal Archives (print only) describing the bankruptcy possibilities faced by the second smallest state at that time (’79)… If we utilize our ability to take money from corporate entities because we can… then what do we have to offer them that is so great to maintain the balance and make them stay here and employ our workers? Why is Delaware such a great place to set up or keep a business if in that process, we destroy our best asset? In other words, why would Paris Hilton purposefully get fat and stop wearing make up? Same thing.

Balance is the key. And Markell is the man for that. For if this state goes too populist, it will hurt our reputation among those whose commercial enterprises actually fund our lives…

His 8% is a brilliant stroke. It keeps people employed, and trims our deficit down. It may need some tweaking.. especially on the lower end of the pay scale… but it shares the suffering better than the massive layoffs that must come if we cannot close the gap in any other way.

We pin hopes on green energy. Yet, who would want to set up a business here, if New Jersey offers it cheaper there?

Do not be quick to steal from corporations. If you’re going to steal, make sure it is from everyone, so no one can say we could have had any other choice…

But, the whole point of this article, is to demonstrate how Michigan is attempting to solve their crises. It can get quickly out of hand, there.

There is a movement to put on their ballot, a proposition requiring the downsizing of their government. In this report filed by Jamie Edmonds of WIXL TV (who just happened to graduate from the University of Delaware’s School of Journalism in 2005). there is the stirring of a citizens movement to simply downsize government.

-Their proposal would eliminate ten seats in the Senate and 28 seats in the House and two supreme court justices.

-It would roll back a lawmaker pay raise

-It would ban lobbying for two years after leaving office.

– It would cut state departments and salaries.

“What we are doing we’re having less government, less bureaucracy, more accountability to people,” Byrum said.

The group supporting this needs 300,000 signatures by July 7th to put it on the ballot.

Now Delaware does not have a ballot Proposition Clause. We are too representative and have our government too firmly entrenched in our pre-colonial traditions, to ever go that route. But, the anger is out there among our people… And accountability must be taken by those whom we put in office.

That is why the 8% cut proposed by our governor Markell is a sound one. The alternatives which are now only being explored by the Joint Financial Committee of our Legislature, are all much worse…

Remember. When it comes to suffering, all must suffer equally for it to work… That should be our mantra. All must suffer equally. All.

.

In a tragedy far surpassing the global meltdown, the outrage of Gaza, or the pirating of commercial property…. Australian moralists have put their feet down… here it is….. a morality play beyond belief.

This is why we need open government.

CNN is making too much over NOW’s complaint that Obama’s cabinet has too few women.

What’s made up of five women, four African-Americans, three Latinos, two Republicans and two Asians, including a Nobel Prize winner?

The answer is Obama’s cabinet, and some women are not too happy over that…..

You call this news?

Since when has a woman ever been satisfied?

(Well, I shouldn’t have said “ever”; a couple of times one can see them grinning ear to ear over nothing all day long..)