You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘political humor’ category.

Advertisements

I miss one of the best discussion boards ever to exist in Delaware’s political spectrum. Moderated by WDEL’s Allan Loudell,  it’s closure coincided with the removal of Al Mascitti, together which pretty well poisoned the well of all imaginative creative discussion in the Delaware virtual world.

Google popped this discussion in a recent search of mine and nostalgia caused me to flick back and reminisce… 

The topic was fascinating… All the regular players commenting back in April 2015 on how this election would pan out… And now…. we enter November….

Here is that fascinating snippet revisited…..

Discussion:

EarlGrey
The strategy I have heard from every Republican contender (including those who have not yet jumped into the race) is simply asking “What accomplishments does Hillary actually have?”

She has had some very important government positions, but what did she actually accomplish while in any of these jobs?

Mike from Delaware
Hillary has somethings going for her that Mitt Romney didn’t. First, she’s a woman; second, she’s not a Mormon. The majority of female voters will overlook the mud thrown on Hillary by the right-wing media folks; the “sisterhood” will close ranks. As I’ve said before, Reagan, Papa Bush, and Little Bush’s wives were pro-choice even though their husbands were pro-life. Women see those issues very differently than men. They’ll see Hillary as the first President who’ll truly understand their feelings, needs, and viewpoints.

Hillary is a United Methodist, not a Mormon. The typical DEM voter is moderate to liberal. They’d see a Mormon candidate as being VERY religious, and as the Mormon Church does NOT support LGBT stuff, they’d NOT want to vote for a Mormon. The United Methodists in the U.S., on the other hand, are not as dogmatic, and the U.S. membership would vote to support LGBT stuff. What keeps that from happening is the United Methodist church is a worldwide group, so the votes are taken from around the world. As a result, the fast-growing churches on the continent of Africa are very conservative and as they get more delegates to the churchwide body, due to their growth, they’ve voted down any changes to support LGBT marriage, clergy, etc., within the UM church. So the only reason the UM church has not supported LGBT stuff is due to the African church; European and U.S. Methodists do support LGBT stuff. So my point is many of the United Methodists ARE DEMS, and are moderate to liberal in their political viewpoints, thus making them likely Hillary voters.

EarlGrey
I’m curious: Are Democrats as excited about Hillary as non-Establishment Republicans are about Jeb Bush? Only the Establishment/Big Money Republicans want Jeb… is this the same on the other side of the political aisle?

And, if not Hillary who? O’Malley? Warren? Chris Christie? I actually think that Christie would be a tough contender for Hillary to beat.

The current Republican field has quite a few exciting/young candidates offering fresh/new ideas to choose from…and a LOT more diversity than the Democrat candidates.

Mike from Delaware
EarlGrey: I don’t know if they’re new fresh ideas. Sounds like the usual G.O.P. stuff. Cut government, cut benefits to the poor, lower taxes on the wealthy, continue to give corporate welfare to businesses like the oil industry, and my favorite: Social Security is an entitlement that’s going to bankrupt the nation as those Senior Citizens who’ve paid their Social Security insurance premium for 40+ years [in my case, 47 years] are takers just like the welfare folks.

So far I’ve not heard much difference yet. You see, I’d be an old-style Democratic liberal on helping the little guy and conservative on moral issues, kind of like the FDR/Truman/Kennedy Democrats. Thus, why I’m not a Republican nor a Democrat. Republicans have the moral stuff and the DEMS have the ‘helping-the-little-guy’ stuff.

No matter how these young turks in the G.O.P. want to spin Reaganomics a.k.a. Trickle-Down Economics, it never has, and never will work. The theory is great. FB had a picture showing a bunch of wine glasses stacked on top of each other in a pyramid. The top glass gets full and then the wine overflows and trickles down into the next level, and when those get filled, the wine trickles down to the next lower level, and so on. The second photo shows the reality. That top wine glass gets filled and then it just keeps getting larger and larger so none trickles down. Fix that aspect of the problem and I’d gladly buy into to the trickle-down vision. But sadly greed is a major part of the human condition, and those folks on top truly believe they NEED all that, and just are NOT willing to allow the trickle-down happen to the great unwashed lower-class folks. So trickle-down won’t work, and each time our nation’s tried it, the results are the same. Time to find another approach.

EarlGrey
Then you aren’t listening Mike. Rand Paul was recently in Detroit offering some very good/fresh ideas on how to breathe life back into that once-great city… Cruz and Rubio also have some very good ideas on how to fix many of the very broken parts of our country’s federal government/economy/banking/world status.

One of my favorite Rand Paul ideas is to place term limits on Congress! That would go a long way to repairing the corruption in government by eliminating career politicians who remain in office till they die.

JFK was also a young/energized senator who changed this country because he had vision and truly loved this country…I would gladly vote for him (though I seriously doubt he could get today’s Democrats to elect him). Maybe we should toss out the “trickle down” theory and go for the “rising tide” theory of JFK.

BTW, I am still not sure any of the current 3 “youngsters” running are going to win…but they are bringing fresh ideas to the table which is a lot more than can be said for Hillary.

Mike from Delaware
EarlGrey: I like the idea of term limits, but also remember the G.O.P. Contract on America Newt used in 1996 that had as one of its key planks term limits for Congress. Funny how when the Republicans got the power, they actually said, we no longer need term limits since we’re now the ones in control. So fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. The problem is most members of Congress don’t believe they need term limits, and they’re the ones who’ve got to pass it. This isn’t something a President can do via EO; not even Obama can do that. So that’s one of those bogus issues politicians throw out into the mix knowing full well they’ll never have to deliver on it. Same with Abortion. The Supremes have said abortion is constitutional and to not allow it is un-constitutional. So candidates are simply flapping their gums saying their going to stop abortion. It isn’t going to happen.

The rising tide theory sounds good too, but without legislation from the government taxing those wealthy folks so that their excessive wealth actually gets spread around, it isn’t going to happen. Republicans are against taxing the wealthy, so the rising tide theory doesn’t work either.

See the problem is there are way too many ways for the rich to make tons of money, pay little or no tax on it, and then hold on to it and not pass it on, or spread the wealth. If they don’t have to do it, then it won’t be done. The wealthy control the system, including the government, so much of this is academic. At least the DEMS want the wealthy to pay a bigger tax, which does help. The tax rate for the wealthiest folks had been far higher during the New Deal years [1932-1980] than the rate has been since 1980. Note since 1980 the rich have become even richer and the poor even poorer, with the middle-class becoming a rare breed. So from where I sit, Americans were better off during the New Deal Era than the Trickle Down Era.

So I’m listening to the “youngsters” of the G.O.P., but knowing they all are TEA folks makes me even less believing they’ll not hurt the least of these while protecting the wealthy. Of course it’s still very early until November 2016, so we’ll see how things play out.

I agree that the G.O.P. young turks may not win and it might have more to do with Obama. Obama, himself was a young turk when he ran for Prez with fresh new ideas, etc., etc. The nation was tired after 8 long years of Bush Jr. and his wars. The nation took a chance and elected the young turk. Now folks are a bit tired of the young turk and his new ideas and want some stability. Enter Hillary Clinton. She’s a rock. She’s been there, done that, got the tee shirt, ball cap, and sweatshirt. People remember also that the last time our nation had “good times” where we had a surplus, etc., was during Bubba Clinton’s years as Prez. So many folks just may be willing to over look the baggage [and Bubba’s womanizing] that comes with the Bill and Hillary Show, because they want a an adult to take the reigns of leadership again. As of now, that’s Hillary. Even Jeb Bush doesn’t have that going for him. Hillary is seen by most folks other than the ultra-right wing TEA folks, as being a moderate DEM like her husband. I believe she’ll be a difficult opponent for the Republicans to beat.

EarlGrey
Mike: If you fear politicians who will protect the wealthy then you should steer clear of Hillary, Jeb, and Chris Christie. Your candidate should probably be either Elizabeth Warren or Ted Cruz if you are against insulating the rich. Warren’s solutions come from the Left and Cruz from the Right, but both oppose protecting the uber-wealthy (in very different ways). Warren wants higher taxes and Cruz wants a flat-tax and rewards for businesses that relocate/manufacture in the United States. Higher taxes chases businesses to other countries…and with them goes their tax base.

I refuse to vote for either Jeb or Christie because there is no real difference between them and Hillary. HRC and Jeb’s funders are Big Money/Big Business leaders hoping to elect “their own candidate” so they can reap the rewards once that person is in office.

BTW, I’m not a “ultra-rightwing Tea folk”, but do know that Hillary is nothing like Bubba…Bill Clinton (love him or hate him) was a personable guy who truly was a Blue Dog Dem…Hillary is not. She is more like one of your favorite presidents (and my least)… Woodrow Wilson. This week on SNL summed up many of HRC’s “likeability issues”…again I say, she is nothing like Bill.

Arthur
So far 2016 is shaping up to be like most elections – the lesser of the evils.

kavips
At this point, there is no one else who is even remotely viable in the Dems’ camp. And at this point, there is no one in the Republicans’ camp worth of a national race.

Therefore, at this point, Hillary wins 2016 hands down.

Mike from Delaware
EarlGrey: I agree with your assessment of Liz Warren and Ted Cruz. With Liz, I know she’ll not mess with Social Security for folks 55+; with Ted I still don’t know that. So if it were between the two and the election were today, Liz Warren would get my vote.

Sadly, Liz Warren has repeatedly said she’s not running in 2016 [probably in deference to Hillary].

Like I said, it’s early, and Ted Cruz has time to make his case to me that his administration would veto ANY attempt by Congress to change anything in Social Security for the 55+ group that would cut benefits or raise the age of retirement.

In that previous post I wasn’t implying you are an ultra right-wing tea party person, but those youngsters are.

I agree Hillary’s big Achilles Heel is her lack of being very likable. Ole Bubba has charisma, a guy who’d have a beer with you, go to a ball game and eat a hot dog with, and just be a regular “Joe”, whereas Hillary comes across cold and aloof. However, at this moment, she is the adult in the room and the nation might be ready to have someone a bit more experienced and mature vs. another Young Turk after 8 years of the Young Turk Obama. People have fond memories of the Clinton years so the appeal to go back to a better time is in her favor. Sort of they did it before, so maybe they can do it again.

EarlGrey
Mike: Hillary is attempting to coast in on Bill’s credentials, but she’s nothing like him.

Americans by-and-large are sick of the state of our country and the world, thanks in large part to this administration. Hillary was actually a part of this administration and The First Lady under the Bill Clinton administration. She can’t run on an actual record and must depend on “the past” that her president hubby accomplished.

How many companies would hire a man for the impressive resume of his wife? Same thing here…Bill has the record of accomplishment and Hillary hasn’t really accomplished anything beyond receiving high-powered government jobs thanks to who her husband was… what would be said of a Republican woman who did the same? Again, judge the candidates by what they have done and their own past records… and don’t assume Hillary will be Bill Clinton 2.0

BTW, The Clinton Machine is expected to spend more than 2 BILLION dollars to buy Hillary the Presidency… sure sounds like she is backed by the ultra-rich she condemns in speeches. This 2B is twice what 0bama spent to buy the Presidency…so much for the myth that Republicans are with the uber-rich and Democrats despise the 1%ers.

kavips: Both Rand Paul and Scott Walker are currently beating Hillary by a few points… a few months back, no one was close to her. Hillary just isn’t an exciting candidate and does not have the charisma of Bill Clinton, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or many others soon to join the 2016 race.

Mike from Delaware
EarlGrey: Sadly, the conservative Supreme Court ruled that businesses are people and can donate as much money as they like. So the reality is both parties will spend Billions of dollars on radio/TV/press ads – such a waste of money – but that is a market-driven way to run a campaign.

A better way would be like what Norway does. The government pays for the campaigns, and it is only 3 weeks long. Norway has televised debates, etc., just no radio/TV/press ads. So no fundraising. Until our system evolves to some version of that, where money isn’t a factor, the wealthy folks in the U.S. — be they liberal or conservative — will continue to grease the skids of their favorite candidates as they continue to buy elections [The Koch Brothers and Grover Norquist come to mind for the conservative side of the aisle].

This is one area where the socialists have a better idea, but heaven forbid we’d ever use a socialistic idea in the good ole U.S. of A. Take the good ideas from socialism and throw the rest out, is my motto. Same with capitalism. In other words, make a hybrid version that uses the best from both capitalism and socialism; that is what we Americans do best, making a system our own. Good luck getting that past the G.O.P./TEA Party folks though.

EarlGrey
Mike: My main point was the hypocrisy of Hillary condemning WallStreet/Big Money with one hand and receiving billions from the exact same people/businesses (plus questionable contributors from Saudi Arabia) with the other hand.

I actually agree with the “Norway solution” you suggest…limit each candidate to a set monetary number for their campaign and let American citizens actually hear all the candidates in a series of debates.

And yes, Grover and the Kochs do fund Republican candidates BUT the Left is as well…the hypocrisy is the Democrats demonizing the Right for doing the exact same thing they themselves are doing (George Soros, Media Matters, Bill Gates…etc.)

It would also be great if NO political parties were listed/shown on the ballot and people were forced to know who they were actually voting for rather than pulling a L or R lever for a straight-ticket choice.

kavips
Although big donors can be found on both sides, the best measurement is which side actually gets grass-roots support?

48% of Obama’s funding came from donors under the $200 level. 9% of Republicans were small donors…

http://cfinst.org/Press/PReleases/12-02-08/Small_Donors_in_2011_Obama_s_Were_Big_Romney_s_Not.aspx

So big funding is not equal, and never should be arbitrarily equated as so between the two parties.

To understand why, go here.

http://www.demos.org/publication/billion-dollar-democracy-unprecedented-role-money-2012-elections

Citizens United now allows elections to be bought by a handful of players. Less than 10% of America has ever given to a political campaign.

EarlGrey
kavips: I agree..and that’s how Republicans ended up running Mittens R. Money in 2012. If Big Money wins out this time, the Republicans will nominate Jeb Bush, and Hillary will win the nomination from the Democrats. There is very little difference between these two.

The grassroots in the Republican party support Cruz, Paul and Walker…the Establishment Republicans (i.e. Big Money) support Jeb and Christie.

Mike from Delaware
EarlGrey and Kavips: I think we all may be on a similar page and have a basic agreement.

The key for a Ted Cruz though is to not be a TEA robot and really lay out clearly what he wants to do, including his stand on Social Security and abortion, assuming he’s not going to try to stop it [thus possibly gaining female voters – again the Court has already ruled]. If he can do that and not lose his G.O.P. support, you never know, he might be able to energize folks like me to actually vote for a TEA party candidate, but we’ll have to wait and see/hear what happens between now and November 2016. If Ted is smart, he could cause a major upset, but that’s a large IF.

mrpizza
We’ve already had 8 years of Julius Rosenberg as president. Do we really have to balance it out with another 8 years of Ethel?

The DPCA  Board President takes money ($11,000) from the school and puts it in her own personal account… The executive secretary does the same. When audited.. she says… “Oh…ummmm…  I made a loan way back when and I’m just paying myself back”… “Well, can you show us proof of that loan?”  “No, you’ll just have to take my word on that… and btw, why are you investigating me… We’re charters.. You’re not allowed to look at our money”…

See documentation in Auditors Report.

Kuumba, the Charter School once praised up and down by now Governor Markell for its high marks on test scores, doubled paid a few select employees… or worse, cut the checks and put them into their own bank account. Bottom line, there are double checks of people padding the payroll. And again… OF COURSE it was the head of the school who was doing it…  What do you expect… IT’S A CHARTER,. FOR HEAVENS SAKES… and the  former secretary of education wasn’t going to do anything about it because he came from Rodel for heaven’s sakes.. he supports charters!

See documentation in Auditor’s Report.

So someone tell me (since we all now know this is going on)… why do we still have charters?  Why do we still have Rodel involved with formulation Department of Education policy.  Again, why do we still have charters?  Why do we still have this ridiculous idea that business can educate little kids better than a very good school system?  Again, why do we have charters?  Why is Kendall Massett still running the Delaware Charter Association?  Again, why do we have charters?  Why is the News Journal even printing Rodel script?  Again, why do we still have Charters…..

Lets rephrase that….

When was the last public school you heard of that double paid their top two guys and a custodian?  The only negative I ever here from public schools is that their poverty children are not yet proficient… When was the last public school officer you heard of who took money out of the school safe and just put in their account, telling no one until an audit brings it up?   The only negative I ever hear from public schools is that their poverty children are not yet proficient…..

Academia Antonia Alonso

Academy of Dover

Campus Community School

Charter School of Wilmington

Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security: Charlie Copeland’s School

Delaware College Prep:

Delaware Design Lab High School:

Delaware Met:

Delaware Military Academy:

Delaware STEM Academy:

Early College High School:

East Side Charter School:

Family Foundations Academy:

First State Military Academy:

Freire Charter School of Wilmington:

Gateway Lab School:

Great Oaks Charter School:

Kuumba Academy:

Las Americas ASPIRAS:

Mapleton Charter School at Whitehall (may change to Discovery Charter School):

MOT Charter School:

Moyer (now closed):

Newark Charter School:

Odyssey Charter School:

Positive Outcomes

Prestige Academy:

Providence Creek Academy:

Reach Academy For Girls (now closed):

Sussex Academy:

Thomas Edison Charter School:

Red for financial mismanagement

Green for personal scandals

Purple for Certification Controversy 

Orange for legal non-compliance

Blue for Coming under Formal Review

Black for Bless Their Hearts.

Compared to this catastrophic portrayal, our public schools are only guilty of one thing: a made up scandal  by educational corporate scions of not bringing up poverty students further up to proficiency….

On the other hand, when seen altogether unhidden, Delaware’s Charters DO NOT present a very pretty picture… And there is a very good reason it is so ugly. That reason is called the Delaware Charter Schools Network.

Back when the 2015 Legislature was desperately trying to pass HB 186, which opens all schools including Charter Schools to accountability and oversight… it was killed primarily by lobbying done by the Delaware Charter Schools Networks Association… They are the ones who insisted that WE DID NOT WANT PUBLIC AUDITORS TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON INSIDE ALL THESE CHARTERS….

Now we know wny…. And because we do, one must ask… Why when one tries so hard to cover up all thievery and financial mismanagement, what is the only one reason why that person would want to be complicit in all these crimes…….

But the real reason for this post is to brag on a fellow blogger’s compilation of all the dirt each charter has been muddied, in just this past single year alone!   Without which, this demonstration could not have been accomplished…

So back to the big question:  why are we still allowing Charter Schools?  This abysmal record is 20 years after they were created. The elimination steps required are obvious.  A) This upcoming legislature should pass legislation to have existing Charters absorbed by the public school system in which they are located by the beginning of the 2019 school year… and…. B) starting with the next budget, the 2016-2017 school year will fund Charters only by line items in the state budget so that local property tax collected, goes only to that areas’ public school district….

Twenty four days have passed since other states released their preliminary Smarter Balanced Assessment reports. Of course there are reasons, just like I can come up with 100’s of reasons not to wash the dishes piling up in my sink.  But no matter how many reasons I create… those dishes are still there.

Delaware is almost the only state who has not released the preliminary charts of the Smarter Balanced assessments.

A possible clue as to why?  All the other states rushed to release their data showing they… exceeded expectations…

Just sayin’.

Delaware’s finest performing Full of Bees… The great…. Todd Chappelle

Coupled with Rick Jensen’s comment on 9 million new immigrants, we are in the middle of a beesy weekend of puns… I predict…..

Mine? The new state logo above in my Title… (You’re very welcome….. 🙂 )

Ok…. one more then….

=========

You get up every morning
From the sound of your alarm clock’s warning
Then leave at 8:15 to go into the city…

You see sinage smilin’ down
Warnin’ bees swarmin” all around…
And marshmellow-like foam gumming up all the highways….

And if your lane’s lucky and on time
You can get to work by nine….
And start your slaving job to carry your own load…

But if you ever get annoyed
Just think of being self-employed
Cause us apiarist just dip up honey all day

(Till ‘they’ call…(ringtone) saying…. Hey! Do you know anything about…. bees?)

Then I’ll be
Takin’ care of beesness, every day
Takin’ care of beesness, in every way
I’ll been takin’ care of beesness, it’s all mine
Takin’ care of beesness while working overtime

(Work it out)

If it were easy being an apiary-ist
And your face could contort like a Drew Carey-ist
And you would squeal when stung, like a newborn colt

But if your windows are rolled down,
Warning. You’ll never make into town,
Unless you can sprint super fast like a Hussein Bolt.

But chances are that you’ll go far
With windows rolled tight up in your car….
But with traffic you might not make it into town…..

So if you’re stuck in traffic,
Don’t do anything that is graphic…
Just sit calmly and look at things from afar….

Tell your boss it’s not your fault….
95 is one big, huge car lot
If that if he fires you, Governor Markell with him will be annoyed…..

Cause you’ll been sittin’
Takin’ care of beesness, every day
Takin’ care of beesness, every way
You’ve been takin’ care of beesness, it’s all mine
Takin’ care of beesness, and working overtime
Take good care of beesness
When I’m away, every day whoo

Remember you get up every morning
From the sound of your alarm clock’s warning
Then leave at 8:15 to go into the city…

You see the sinage smilin’ down
With bees still swarmin’ ’round…
And marshmellow-like foam gumming up all the highways….

Frightened people pushin’, people shovin’
Performing their last rites and their last lovin’
Just praying they make it alive into the city…..

But, if you ever get annoyed
Consider me, I’m self-employed
Then respect what I have to do all day

*While you’re slavin’ ) I’ll be….
Takin’ care of beesness …every day
Takin’ care of beesness ….every way
I’ll bee taking care of beesness, …they’s all mine
Takin’ care of beesness and working overtime ….

Takin’ care of beesness
Takin’ care of beesness
Takin’ care of beesness
Takin’ care of beesness
Takin’ care of beesness

(Not as good as Todd’s but it is a try… nevertheless…. )

Hey, anybody got a buzz?

BigYellowJacket
Image Courtesy of Newark High School.

It used to stand for a naked lady upon a white horse.

It now stands for chocolate.

How great to live a full life….

Although it is too complex to delineate here, after crunching numbers and possibilities there is dominant weight towards the idea that more Russian intrusions are planned for Ukraine…

In the terms of pure power, a language Russia understands, sanctions will not do the trick…Sanctions didn’t work on Saddam. Sanctions didn’t work on Syria.  Both were under Russian influence. Therefore in language they understand, we will need boots on the ground in Ukraine.

  • It is time to pull the A-10’s back out of retirement and put them in place inside of Ukraine.
  • As soldiers return from Afghanistan, we will need to extend their tours a little longer and put them in Ukraine.
  • We need to be clear our armies are defensive and not offensive.  We can do that thorough our logistics which they can read.
  • We need Americans on the ground inside those Russian territories most prone to invasion, and they will need to be on their best behavior to win friends and influence people…. Since they will no longer have to abide by Shari Law , I don’t think that will be a problem…

If the orders or plans have not yet been drawn, they need to be done ASAP.

This should be seen as a non aggressive force, but a deciding one.  Sort of like how bouncers gather around a shouting match in numbers to help convince both parties that they really, really, really, really, don’t want to come to blows….

But if left alone as two voices in a vacuum, the fight will break out and it becomes much harder to then establish the peace.. Which is why , right now, we need boots on the ground somewhere in Ukraine’s Russian Territories…   It is past time to realize the verbal assurances we have been given simply could be a stall for time… That is usually how it is done when you hear words but fail to see the actions accompanying them, in this case, the backing down of troops along the border.

As with a bar fight, the fastest and quickest way to ensure a lasting peace, is to have a solid physical threat close at hand, very visible to the perpetrators, so the fallout from their actions is readily assessed both scaring them and giving them the will to back down…Bringing in the Chinese would again, be the smartest thing.  It is time for China to become a world player and with their future economic status briefly on shaky ground, I imagine they would appreciate the gesture and opportunity….

Plus it would take their eye off the China Sea for a while as well.

Finally, we can use this as a reason to ram higher taxes past the Republicans, by appealing to the patriotism of the American people, they won’t pay, the top 1% will… We earmark the tax increase to the military, and we paint all those Republicans who balk as being weak and  unpatriotic Americans, willing to squander our troops in the face of a Russian threat….  If we play our cards correctly, we can pass that high rate of taxation, by calling it a war tax, sunset it after 10 years, and slip in marginal rates as high as up to 90 or 100%… We did the last big war… Tell America that this time, they won’t have to fight a war on a deficit.  Our wealthy will happily pay our way in advance….

Domestically we should see great economic movement as we race to restaff defense plants, and get those contracts passed and rolling to upgrade our defense force, perhaps before October of this year…

But it all starts with boots on the ground in Ukraine…  This we must do quickly.

Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
/Click Image for Past Winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In a new parlor game, reminiscent of one played in Uncle Scrooge’s nephew’s house on Christmas Day present,  the question was:… what is the biggest difference between the Head of Delaware’s Senate, and  the Head of Delaware’s House?

……………………….   Finally after multiple answers, all correct but deemed wrong, we get the answer.

One  licks the governor’s butt on rare occasion; the other licks it all session long.

That was too poetic not to pass on.

Breaking.  and this is an ongoing story that reminds me so much of the Russian coup against Gorbachev that looked so frightening at first, then the coup leaders were all found locked in a room, half naked, drunk off their asses.  What bumblers…

We had three scandals in three days…

  • Benghazi.
  • AP Reporters getting wiretapped.
  • IRS searching up Tea Partiers…

Turns out none are scandals.

A)  Obama and Hillary are absolved from the Benghazi episode.  The ABC email that started it all, was doctored. The whole thing was built off a piece of misinformation.

B)  The AP Reporters?  A very serious leak compromising considerable resources needed to be tracked down.   The  House Bill which would have made listening to journalist illegal was voted against by none other than Darral Issa..  Only 20 others were extremely discombobulated enough to do so.  Though is passed overwhelmingly over Issa’s objection,  a Republican filibuster killed it in the Senate.  Obama then a Senator, had committed to voting for it.  “Republicans killed it” quoted Patrick Leahy, forever known for his episode in Dark Knight.

C)  IRS searching up Tea Partiers.  The IRS is a non partisan machine and is in a complete disconnect with any administration.  The head of the IRS during this time-frame was a Bush appointee.  The head of the division what oversees these tax exempt organizations, was appointed by Bush and approved by the Republican Senate in 2005…  Why either of these would target the Tea Party for political means is unfathomable.   But to do so because these organizations being investigated were formed to promote the NOT PAYING OF TAXES….. well, wouldn’t you do the same?

All three cases were complete duds. There was no “there”, there.  All the prophecies of you had better watch out, …were premature.

The big question is… why are we even talking about this?  Can you say poll results?

  • December 12, 2012: Kentucky: Hillary Clinton would beat Paul, Rubio in 2016
  • January 10, 2013: Clinton could be unstoppable if she runs in 2016
  • January 17, 2013: Clinton could beat Bush and Rubio in Florida in 2016
  • January 31, 2013: Clinton could win Texas in 2016
  • February 8, 2013: Clinton potentially competitive in Alaska
  • February 14, 2013: Clinton tied or ahead against GOP candidates in Louisiana
  • February 28, 2013: Clinton would beat Walker, Ryan in Wisconsin in 2016
  • March 21, 2013: Clinton’s popularity soars in Florida while Rubio stumbles
  • April 11, 2013: Clinton and Paul are neck and neck in Kentucky
  • April 25, 2013: Clinton would be dominant in New Hampshire in 2016
  • May 8, 2013: Republicans decide it’s time to find out just how responsible Hillary Clinton is for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi

Can you say …. “getting trounced in Red States”?