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Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
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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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Why YOU Don't Matter (per Today's Republicans)

(Or Why You Only Matter At Election Time)

This story bears repeating.  I first became aware of Common Core by being shown a text assignment to a student.  It was inane.  When I asked at the beginning of the year what literature they would be studying, the room I was in was told by the instructor that there was no literature in the curriculum.  Now it is time to finish the rest of this story.  This student you may remember was brilliant in his non Common Core English class the previous year (2011-2012).  This year he squeaked through with a C- though his DCAS scores were all in the high end. The other courses’ grades were consistent across both years.  There appears to be a problem with Common Core.

In the past I have described Common Core as a sausage.  If made with the right ingredients it can be great.  My post right below this one shows how.  But the problem with Common Core as with a sausage, is that until one cooks and eats it, one does not know what is inside.  its insides are not shown to the public before it gets sold.  If it is shredded beef, it is a good sausage.  If it is cooked pork, it is a good sausage,  It could be Grade A chicken, turkey, or lamb; no one knows until it is cooked and eaten.  But what if it is poop?  Simply poop scooped up from the floor of a poultry farm, stuffed into an intestinal casing, tied at both ends, and looking like any sausage, it gets picked, cooked, cut into, and eaten.

Earlier this spring we had a blogger’s frenzy here in Delaware as we tried to determine what exactly was in Common Core.  We finally found the standards and for the most part, thought they were ok.  We deduced that the problem lies somewhere with the meat processors who are creating this educational sausage without any oversight or accountability.  They’ve figured how to make money, and students/parents were being cheated in the process..

So then, the biggest problem with Common Core is that it is run as a business, not just any business but as a monopoly.  There is no competition between opposing curriculums so one must take whatever one is given.  Llike any monopoly, this business isn’t worried about keeping the customer; it is worried about its bottom line.

The second largest problem is that Common Core program completely ignores the fact that outside influences, particularly poverty, impact education.  It waves a magic wand in its calculations and then proceeds to ignore that students who have a huge issue just trying to survive that day, can’t do well in school.

So, here are the issues:

A) Common Core stifles innovation.  School becomes boring and learning takes a back seat to all other activities.

B) Common Core and Standardized tests go hand and hand.  Test at the beginning and at the end.  The accountability piece attached, means the tests must be passed; the stakes are very high.  Therefore teaching to the test is what we shall get.  Students won’t know how to solve life’s problems unless it is on a standardized test.

C) There is no public input into Common Core.  It if is bad, too bad.  All students will digest it anyway.  No school board, no General Assembly oversight, nothing.  It comes straight from the developer to your child.

D) The standards are too low.  In and effort to narrow the achievement gap, the levels of knowledge are dumbed down so all students will have the same low basic level of knowledge.  No more will the affluent white schools outperform inner city problematic ones. We will teach the exact same to both; they won’t be taught any differently..  The Core material is the same for all schools; students at  both will easily pass it.  There are no higher state standards anymore, simply because if there were, the achievement gap would continue to grow, not shrink.  We are closing the achievement gap primarily by bringing the top end down, not the bottom end up.

E) The repetitive standardized  tests will tell a lot about one’s child.  Especially over time.  Common Core is collecting data on every child, which can then be sold to highly interested Corporate advertisers.  It tracks every child after leaving school across their entire work-path through out their career.

F)  Common Core has a super high price tag. $16 billion over 7 years. One has to buy copyrighted lessons from a supplier because they go hand in hand with the questions on the final test.   All those packets and  that software isn’t cheap.  Of course, data miners and data transcribers have to be hired to read and explain the data to teachers, principals, and administrators.  The money could be spent elsewhere in the school and perhaps to more good.

G)  Common Core by making everyone study the same thing at the same time means that no one will know anything else outside the Common Core agenda; the national data base is narrowed.  Under the current somewhat haphazard individualized approach we had up to now, people matriculated to that area in which they were most interested.  Later when an employer puts people on a team, over the width of the group there is a diversity of opinion upon which to draw for the best solution.  But when everyone knows exactly the same thing, has the exact same shared experience, there could be trouble.  If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got.

H)  Common Core is being figured out on the fly.  Legislatures signed on before knowing any details.

I)  Common Core Standards were not created by the states.  They actually supplement the state standards previously in place.  No, Common Core Standards were developed by corporations in Washington DC, with the lavish funding by the Gates, Broad, and Walmart foundations.  These standards they created are not intended to develop doctors, lawyers or  teachers, but to develop first year entry level workers for corporations.

J)  Common Core standards are designed not to prepare students for entrance into a four year college or university, but for two year programs or four year programs in a community college.  In that sense they are much lower than almost all of  those  state standards which they are replacing.

K) Common Core  in that it is being forced by the US Department of Education onto the states through strings attached to basic funding, violates the Federal Statute prohibiting the Fed’s direction, supervision, or control of curriculum.

L)  Common Core Standards are not developed by anyone remotely accountable to parents. They are copyrighted standards owned by large educational corporations, completely unaccountable to either legislators, governors, school boards, teachers, parents , or students.

M)  Common Core is like a virus that implodes one cell, then scatters replicates to attack and implode other cells.  With Delaware’s passage of SB 51, Common Core standards will now begins watering down our great teaching schools within the University of Delaware, Delaware State, and Wilmington University.  As it does with the curriculum in public schools, it will be substituting weaker Common Core Standards for more stringent state standards involved especially when it comes to teaching teachers how to teach.

N)  There are thirteen issues above that need addressed.  Yet this faulty program is being used to fire teachers who are only arbitrarily accountable to test results based on this faulty program..  Even good teachers in poor income school districts will lose their jobs, as factors outside the school such as that area’s poverty, pulls down student scores below the acceptable level, and those teachers must suffer the consequences.  Impoverished schools will become closed for the same reason; test scores were too low.  High stakes testing is for  high stakes. Yet there are so many multiple factors impacting those test scores out of everyone’s control. For every teacher, every new school year is metaphorically like charging across the fields of Gettysburg inside of  Pickets Charge; you just hope in all that mass madness, a bullet or cannonade’s  grapeshot does not find you. Your fate is completely out of your control.   Common Core has begun and will continue to cost us many great teachers who up to now had turned many young children into upstanding citizens.

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Done.  Notice there is no agenda 21 listed.  That is an issue which lies in a different arena ( a political one) and is not part or this issue which is how this poop gets dressed up as a sausage.  Both Jack Markell and Educational Secretary of Arne Duncun have recently tried to deride each and everyone of  those against Common Core, as being kooks fearful of Agenda 21 and perhaps even SPECTRE.

I think this short list illistrates there are serious problems with Common Core.  In fact, this problem is so serious that recently Michigan, Pennsylvania, Utah, Alabama, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, South Dakota, and Kansas have passed or tried to pass legislative bills controlling or stopping the impact of Common Core upon its students. None of their reasons came from what Arne Duncun or Jack Markell dismissively alluded.  They come from the very real concerns mentioned above…  Parents of children bring home Common Core materials, are leading the Common Core pushback.

Bottom line: as illustrated here in Delaware with the student whose example leads off this post, Common Core is bad for students.  They can’t succeed living on just poop…. stuffed into an intestinal casing, simply because it gets  stamped in black food ink, “Common Core; Quality Grade A”

I just spent some time reading through the NRA’s list on how to make schools safer…..

Obviously a lot of time and effort went into this project to deflect the real cause away from guns. I appreciate their effort.  In 2010, there were 132,656 public schools.

Here are the costs per school as portrayed by the NRA.

Consulting assessment per school  $10,000

Camera systems per school   $50,000

Making outer doors secure per school   $10,000

Making Classroom doors secure per school  $50,000

Hiring 2 armed guards at $20/hour per school  $40,000

Training those 2 guards at NRA run camps  $40,000

That was for starters.  Let us go with just those basics….  The NRA says as a society we need to spend $200,000 per school to keep our kids safe.  The cost for Christina District would be $5,000,000. The cost for Red Clay District would be $6,400,000.  Brandywine would cost $3,000,000.

To fortify every school across  the entire country would cost  $25.6 Billion…

Bluntly put.  it would cost $25.6 billion to fortify each school, when we could simply make not only school kids, but every citizen safer for a zero added cost.  Yes, just pass the Delaware state laws which will keep fewer guns out of the hands of criminals while not curtailing the rights of legal gun owners, and we can have the safety in our schools we all grew up under, with zero cost…..

$26,500,000,000, or zero…….

Call your legislators today and tell them, especially the Republicans, they are going to be out of a job if they don’t pass the Governor’s rational regulations on weapons of school kids destruction…..

Oh, and did anyone else catch that the NRA’s plan nets themselves $5.3 billion from training all those guards?

They cost you too…

The drop in payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% results in a savings of about $1000 a year to every wage earner.

(If truth were widely known, that tax cut is actually a bad idea. It hemorrhages a dying social security fund, requiring the eventual death of the program or an expensive emergency last ditch surgery in the future.)

But it is hard not to give a $1000 present to every voter. Even if it only comes out as $19 dollars and change each week… But, still again, if your electric bill is $198 and you only have $189 in your account, that additional amount is, well, a lifesaver…..

But, Republicans in the House, even after Republicans in the Senate voted passage, overwhelmingly voted….. not to vote on the measure…

They didn’t vote against it… THEY VOTED NOT TO VOTE ON IT……
(speculation is that they lacked the votes to keep it from passing)..

So, how does that relate to you?

House Republicans (read Tea Party) just voted NOT TO VOTE on whether or not you will be losing an extra $20 a month out of your next paycheck.

Imagine what this is doing to payroll clerks around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to family budgets around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses who rely on consumer spending around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses heavily involved in the financial sector, around this country?

So what would normally happen?

Normally a group that can’t find agreement, acknowledges the sad fact, and long before the deadline, announces that they failed to reach agreement and that things would continue as they were on a temporary basis, to unfortunately allow for more time to solve differences.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOO, …. WE ARE STUCK WITH A TEA PARTY THAT FUCKS THINGS UP.

Instead, we have a vote not-to-vote, then get all sorts of very lame excuses from those who are delaying, none of which apply to the real problem that Social Security is doomed unless drastic action gets taken (higher rates, not lower), and we get nothing….

The tax cut will expire…

It is like sequestering a jury in a room, where everyone after much fact-covering argument has agreed to a judgment, except for one person who’s been bought off. And nothing, nothing, logic, emotional appeal, bullying, snuggling up to, befriending, produces any change. And you go years, every working day, to the same court house, the same jury room, they same chair at the same table, hear the same arguments, hoping against all odds, that today, he will see the light and switch. You go the next day.

That is today’s Congress. Held hostage by Tea Party Republicans who live in a dream world untouched by the reality of living under $185,000 a year. Like that bought-out juror, every day, they hold up progress with the unjustified belief that, if they wait long enough, the other 11 jurors will give up and sway over to the sole juror’s way….

Two things can happen… 1) return to the public and announce a hung jury, and do a complete retrial.. or 2) sneak up to that one juror, put a gun to his head, say nothing, pull the trigger, clean up the mess, dispose of the body, then go out to the public and announce what the 11 of you have decided…..

One is the nice way, sanctioned to due process of law. The other is the American Way.

It’s time to initiate the kavipsian policy of expression or what is otherwise known as “Show Us How You Really Feel”… Who knows? It could become the next great movement? The next time someone you know (or don’t), says anything about how millionaires should keep their tax cuts and the poor should pay, nod your head in agreement, smile a little bit, then hit them as hard as you can in their mouth, I mean as hard as you can! Put them flat on the ground holding their jaw… Then loudly say, “Don’t every talk that stupid way to me again!” Who knows, if 99% or all 303,930,000 would respond that way to our fellow congressional delegates, and the other 3.9 million of their like who advocate such madness, we might actually get the very progress we need, not because of intimidation, but because such policy is right….

For those who argue expression of violence is un-American, I’ll remind them that tonight, is John Wayne Night on AMC: view it!… I argue that such action is VERY American and perhaps it has been the lack of such spontaneous expressions of frustration from working American people, that has caused the logjam where nothing gets done because of one holdout, who thinks he can sway the world to his opinion and face no consequences… ….

Practice now, by punching brick walls.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Never give up. In fact, the two comeback teams who took out giants, both had players who said the same things…. “When we were told it was over, we decided to start playing our best, just so we could save face. Who knew it would be enough to get us in..”

If you believe in America, the Constitution, the middle class, it’s time: you need to start playing your best. We are under attack.

It takes a lot of effort to sort out the truth. The truth is out there and that truth is: all our woes come from Republicans. Perhaps they think they truly think they are doing the right thing (because for the wealthy, they are), but they represent such a minority, that what seems right for them, comes as an expense to us.

And without effort on our part, they’ll win. We’ll lose.

Republicans have ground effective government to a halt. The Senate can’t even get a vote together to open or adjourn.

Anyone who has ever watched Star Wars knows exactly why they are doing it…. In that movie, it was to blame the Jedi.

Today, it is done in the pretense of blaming Obama for these failed two years…

But all one has to do, is sit the chambers one day to know they are the ones to blame: they are the “evil” that has stymied the forces of good…

Just one person can halt legislation for 36 hours, and Republicans never fail to use it. It never used to be that way.

Republicans of the 111 Congress have stymied legislation more times than all the previous Congress’s in America’s History, combined.

With every vote, even those of routine matters with no political consequence,(such as adjournment of the Senate for an earthquake), the Republicans have invoked the rule of cloture, basically requiring all members to be present in two days to have a formal vote, just so that the normal business of the Senate can go forward… .

Here is Wikipedia’s version of what the rule of cloture does:

The procedure for “invoking cloture,” or ending a filibuster, is as follows:

A minimum of sixteen senators must sign a petition for cloture.

The petition may be presented by interrupting another Senator’s speech.

The clerk reads the petition.

The cloture petition is ignored for one full day during which the Senate is sitting. For example, if the petition is filed on Monday, it is ignored until Wednesday. (If the petition is filed on a Friday, it is ignored until Tuesday, assuming that the Senate did not sit on Saturday or Sunday.)[12]
On the second calendar day during which the Senate sits after the presentation of the petition, after the Senate has been sitting for one hour, a “quorum call” is undertaken to ensure that a majority of the Senators are present. However, the mandatory quorum call is often waived by unanimous consent.

The President of the Senate or President pro tempore presents the petition.

The Senate votes on the petition; three-fifths of the whole number of Senators (sixty with no vacancies) is the required majority 

Allowing this scenario:

Democrat: Mr. President: I would like to leave to pee for a moment and return shortly to finish my speech…

Republican: Mr. President: The minority files for a rule of cloture on this measure.

President of the Senate: Are you Republicans mad?

Republicans: We remind the acting president of the chamber, that it is within our rights based on Senate Rule 22 to invoke the rule of cloture.

President: But the poor man just wants to pee.

Republicans: It is our right, it’s in the rules, and there is no amendment to those rules excusing this from that application.

Democrats: Surely the Republicans are not going to hold up this inconsequential act for something so minor, so routine, as having the poor Senator go to the Bathroom?

Republicans: Here is our petition Mr. President. Signed by the following: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; Minority Whip John Kyl; Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander; Policy Committee Chairman John Thune; Conference Secretary John Barrasso; Campaign Chairman John Cornyn; Richard Shelby; Jeff Sessions; Marco Rubio; Mike Crapo; Rand Paul; Pat Toomey;Jim DeMint…..

President: All seems to be in order; Will the Clerk please read the petition.

Clerk: Mr President, we the following do protest this atrocity to the American way. If the express words are not hand-written into the Constitution, then it doesn’t belong in government. We can find no paragraph in the Constitution where it says a Senator may leave the floor to pee… Before this moves forward we invoke the rule of cloture to require the full Senate to vote on this matter of grave Constitutional Concern. Signed: The Republicans….

Democrats: We request that the offer to invoke cloture be rescinded. It is a matter of human decency that this Senator be allowed to pee….

Republicans: We will not, Mr. President. It is a Constitutional matter, and the problems of one little Senator have no bearing here. It does not specifically say in the Constitution that a Senator can leave the floor to pee and so we must have that matter go before the full body in order to prove it musters the required approval under the rules, of the American people.

President: Under the rules, I am powerless to override it. This matter will be taken up not tomorrow, which being Friday, means it will be taken up on Monday, at some time post one hour after the Senate has convened, provided there is no rule of cloture being offered by Republicans to halt that convening. There will be not further hearings on this matter till then… (Gavel sounds) The floor is open for new business

Democrat:
Mr President, now I have to poop. May I please be excused…

Republican: Mr. President: The minority files for a rule of cloture on this new measure. ……

….

And so nothing gets done in the Senate for 36 hours. It is a fact that this rule of cloture has been invoked more since the Tea Partiers came to town, than over the entire history of Congress…..

Republicans are a problem.

Lesson learned from the Wild Cards? Never give up; in fact now is the time to start playing our best…. Who knows what may happen? But giving up? Sets our fate in stone…. as in tombstone….  RIP Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves.

Facts are a Republicans worst nightmare…..

Republicans zero’d out the Interagency Council on Homelessness. This agency is what makes churches and private taking care of homeless possible.

Republicans zero’d out $1.1 billion from Head Start. Putting 200,000 toddlers on the streets, and eliminating 55,000 teachers.

Republicans zero’d out the Administration on Aging, and cut out block grants which keep Meals on Wheels and Senior Centers alive.

Republicans cut out 81,000 people from getting food each day, by zeroing out the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which provides food to low-income Americans….

Republicans zero’d out money being sent to poverty-focused international assistance programs, which will largely hurt women and girls who have no other source of food or medical help.

But they will not raise one penny on millionaire and billionaires…

These guys are really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, … sick.

Republicans Screw You So This Dog Keeps It's Money
Photo Courtesy of xoxobook.com

The House of Representatives just voted to extend the Bush era tax cuts to all those making less than $250,000. Also included in the bill were the two-year delay of the Alternative Minimum Tax, the elimination of the marriage penalty tax, and the permanent increases to the child tax credit and the earned-income tax credit.

And all but three Republicans… that is 168 Republicans to be exact, voted against it!….We told you they were lying when they pretended to offer you a tax cut! And we were absolutely, unequivocally, irrevocably … right…

Republicans just voted to raise taxes on every single working man, women, and child making less than $250,000 a year…

REPUBLICANS WANT TO RAISE TAXES ON EVERY SINGLE WORKING MAN, WOMEN, AND CHILD MAKING LESS THAN $250,000 A YEAR.

REPUBLICANS WANT TO RAISE TAXES ON EVERY SINGLE WORKING MAN, WOMEN, AND CHILD MAKING LESS THAN $250,000 A YEAR.

REPUBLICANS WANT TO RAISE TAXES ON EVERY SINGLE WORKING MAN, WOMEN, AND CHILD MAKING LESS THAN $250,000 A YEAR.

David Anderson: What do you say to that?
Duffy: What do you say to that?
Hube: What do you say to that?
Cato: What do you say to that?
Kilroy: What do you say to that?
Anyone with a grain of character making less than $250,000, who considers themselves a Republican, needs to change their party affiliation tomorrow morning…

Oh, what did we hear from the Republicans?

We heard one Republican after another said they would vote for middle-class tax cuts, only if they could also vote to extend tax cuts for higher incomes at the same time.

All I can say, is for 10 years…

WE TOLD YOU SO!

and adding insult to injury…..Just earlier, Republicans blocked extended unemployment insurance, insisting that it not add to the deficit, but not one single Republican whimpered the same demand of the monstrous tax cuts they want to continue.

We told you so… How do you feel now Republican voters.. like vomiting, perhaps? Republicans care more for Helmsley’s dog, than they do for all those making less than $250,000 a year….

I dare any Republican to offer a credible explanation. So far the only one offered was: the rich didn’t get their fair break so we voted against it…

Remember: we had a surplus when the rich were taxed correctly. As soon as we stopped taxing the real money makers, our government racked up the worst deficit ever. As soon as the Bush tax cuts went into effect for the wealthy, our nation went downhill. It is so obvious what we need to do. Tax, tax, tax, those making ALL the money… It’s our money anyway they got rich off of; they took our money; they should pay our taxes… 🙂 Right?

I was economizing till the end of the month, and was about to use the editorial page of the New Journal for substitute toilet paper, when I saw Ron Williams had digressed on Markell’s speech, which I “cliff noted” in the post below….

His take was ass backwards, archaic, and so old school, that it caused a cascade of thoughts that prompted me to put them down..

In essence, Ron Williams’ take proves that the union, building trades, developers, and old school Democrats, have past their prime…

It is fine to criticize positive thinking, especially if one can provide an better alternative..

Ron Williams can’t, and with that realization, comes the knowledge that the inevitable will come to pass.. A corner was turned with the cross registration that occurred last spring and the removal of John Carney from the Democratic top spot, has meant a sea change in leadership that is sweeping across this state…

The new blood that has matriculated into the Senate and our House, would be better advised to see the trends developing now, and shift their allegiance to the Markell factor, and distance themselves from the conglomerate of old Democratic supporters mentioned above… Because their can be no going back to the old Adams, DeLuca, Minner, Sharpe, McDowell, McCloskey, Roy contingent that dominated state politics for the first three quarters of this decade…

The world has changed… Ron Williams gives us proof in his entertainment piece…

He starts with the idea that Markell began his speech backward…

Of course a journalist always leads with the headline and fills the body with junk… so from that perspective, a backwards person looking at a well formed speech, just might think that the lead should be first, and fluff at the end…

However, those of us that really have to argue and convince others, for real, not just to look good in print, know that an argument is meticulously and creatively structured, so it convinces rationally and emotionally at the same time… Markell’s aim is to sell the CORE prosperity agenda as deliverable.. He does.

His 4000 words describe the need, the tools required, the solution, and the action required to deliver it.. That seems to be lost upon Ron Williams, which if he was reading the speech solely through the eyes of an extinct dinosaur, would be only looking for the parts that relate to his own self preservation…

He derides the eduction of 40 and 50 year olds who will lose their jobs soon.. Unfortunately, he fails to realize that he may soon join them… Who wants to read irrelevance anymore…

What is relevant is that people are losing jobs in the private sector. There is therefore too little money to pay for those in the public sector… Markell’s plan makes sense… If you can tweak it so some may pay less of a share because of their low income, and that is politically more acceptable than the offer that each will accept the same percentage, fine… Fairness is commodity that varies its value upon it’s perception. What one person perceives as fair, another may not. As long as a “fair” method is achieved to scale back the human cost to our state government, then that is the ultimate accomplishment has been achieved.

Since he has nothing substantial to offer, Ron Williams then asks questions… Questions that were asked in December, January, February, March, and April… and have already been answered ad nauseum by everyone else… Yawn…

Examples?

“So why not structure salary cuts based on income”… Because 8,000 hurts a 100,000 earner as hard as a $2320 cut hurts a $29,000 earner… At least the below poverty earner can use other sources to substantiate his income; food stamps, WICK, CHIP for example…. as well as earn EIC when his taxes come around… (I need to do the math.. It occurs to me that he could be better off…after all Federal benefits are added in)…

“and what about that 8 – 10 %…” It is the required amount to meet the $330 million target…

“What about a sales tax?” What good will Delaware shopping be with a sales tax on large purchases? Out of state consumers, why drive here at all? Implementing a sales tax will cause gross sales to decline and taxes on decreased incomes because of those decreased sales will subsequently decrease, aggravating our problems, not solving them..

And of course, the defeatist comes out in the gambling piece… His second to last paragraph can essentially be summed up as this.. Despite both a primary and a general election, this state is really run by the gambling consortium and Markell has no power against them…

Had that mentality existed in the early days of the union movement, when all odds were stacked behind Pinkerton’s men, then today, there would not even be union members reading his column in the paper…

As it is, somewhere in the New Castle County sewer system, his words, and his picture, are currently drifting along with their appropriate company….