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

Think back over the past 3 years…. 

Hmmmm.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just heard that discussion was flying around Moody’s after the Fitch announcement today, over whether their rating should be in the “B” range or “C” range if the default occurs.

One train of thought was that with the alternative universe Republicans currently live in, where thinking that  we can weather the default of the debt ceiling as well as the government shutdown indefinitely or until at least Obama puts in his resignation papers,  dropping  the USA’s rating only a point or two, would not be an accurate portrayal of the risk.

These rating organizations have a reputation to keep.  Were they to make the bonds drop only from A+++ to an A++, or down to an A+, it would give credence to the viewpoints of the alternative universe’s thinking that “gee, that wasn’t so bad” and prolong the crises.

If the US Government can’t decide to open itself up, and can’t decide to pay the obligations to which it has already committed, then it is no better than Somalia, or Chad, or the Central African Republic They can’t open due to war and insurrection; we can’t open because of immature legislators.  The result is the same;  they aren’t governing, and that is a bad risk. Except we have a lot more money than Somalia, Chad, and the Central African Republic, which will depreciate faster than the Titanic hit bottom once it finally slipped under.

And that is the other side of the argument.  That considering the outcome of default, and effect of the lowering of the rating, that perhaps modifying the amount of the drop might be prudent.  Drop the bond ratings to the level of Portugal or Bulgaria, keep it in the “B” range, instead of the Somalian range where it belongs.

Then the other side counters back… But if we do that, the Tea Party will say, “see, they were lying, default is not as bad as they said…” 

Most likely they will err on the side of caution.  Drop it into the “B” range….  Save the “C” range for another day…. 

That at least, was the rumor told to me as being the current mood at Moody’s…  As everyone knows, the “official” word could be a whole different level entirely.

 

If only this had been offered up as evidence to the Supreme Court in December 2000.

I guess you get what you vote for.

To be honest, I never thought I would live to see a Democrat take the fourth district… Never in my wildest dreams.   I hope my previous thoughts were wrong for I certainly do not want to die within 15 days….

Most of it has to do with the candidate, himself..  Dr. Michael Katz.  If one were to wave a magic wand and say that political parties no longer existed, and every man could represent himself if elected…. Dr. Katz would be a shoo in…  Here is why: He is better educated than his opponent, and he thinks before he acts, something Clatworthy is not prone to do. Clatworthy follows the other political tack, you know the one which was quite popular over the past 8 years, that of falling in step with the party and not straying out of bounds….  Both philosophies have their times and places…

But if one had no concern whether he was represented by a Democrat or Republican, then Dr. Katz would be the next representative of the Fourth Senatorial District….

I will show you why Dr. Katz is better for that district during the next term…..

Health Care… we will create a new way of doing health care in Dover sometime during the next term. That is a given, based on the current status of Health Care today.  Am I the only one who thinks bringing a doctor to the table would be a good idea?  Wouldn’t he be the better choice to explain to us, all that gobblygook those insurance reps like to throw our way?  Has the good doctor’s opponent ever had to work with today’s insurance companies to get paid?…..  ” your call is important to us….  Please hang on until the next operator is available….. You have been holding 39 minutes….. music

No doubt you too have seen those same insurance commercials, telling us that national health-care will drive our doctors overseas…. Instead of taking it hook, line, and sinker, should we not instead, ask the good Doctor?

What does his opponent bring to the health care table,….other than a bundle of beliefs?  And it is probably silly at this late point to remind you of just where that bundle of beliefs, which are not new but were spouted afresh during one presidential campaign a full 8 years ago…. winning George Bush the presidency…..  Just where has that bundle of beliefs led this country over the past 8 years….?

When Delaware looked into building a wind farm off Rehoboth’s coast, both sides spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultancy fees.   But when it comes to health care, citizens in the Fourth District currently have someone spending thousands of his own campaign money just to apply for that consultancy position… One of these two candidates will be deciding our health care issues for us. It actually makes sense to vote to the Doctor in.  Let’s tap in and get his expert advice for free….

The dead-horse republican platform still beaten by Clatworthy, that one of stressing no taxes, is a misnomer..  Everyone knows that if you grow your economy by funding your appetite on debt, you will soon be out of money…  Eventually, some day, you have to pay it back… Of course when you do, not only do you have to pay back the money that you borrowed, but you also pay back the interest on that deal as well.  In other words you have to pay interest ON TOP OF all the goods and services you currently use and are paying for as you go… Even if you wanted your state to keep its expenditures at current levels, repair roads, fix schools, etc, you would have to slash necessary goods and services,   Since no one can function without basic government services, roads, schools, etc., taxes inevitably will be raised… So just how seriously can we take his pledge to cut taxes?

Oh,…. but Republicans don’t cut taxes…Correct, they just defer taxes down the road, perhaps giving it to one’s children to make up the payments.   If you didn’t believe it before, you should by now based on what we have all witnessed done to our national debt over the last 8 years….

Citizens of the Fourth District need also to be concerned about the education of their children… Who would better understand what it takes to make a doctor out of one of Delaware’s children….?
Someone from a fundamentalist Christian school? Or a doctor? My vote for the education of my own children (if there were no such thing as a Democrat or Republican Party) would certainly go first to someone who was a physician in anesthesiology and is an assistant professor at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, as opposed to someone whose claim to fame was that he once sat at the feet of Pat Robertson… Unlike some I am not knocking Regent University. It is just a fact of life that sometimes you need experts to do what they were specialized in… You wouldn’t take your car to a dentist…. likewise vice versa trust your teeth to an engine mechanic…..

Putting political affiliation aside (it won’t mean much this election cycle anyhow) those living in District 4, the Chateau Country, whether wealthy or not, will need someone solid representing them come January for the next two years… Someone solid…

Of course you know Clatworthy’s dad…. But you also know that someone easily bamboozled once they enter lobby heaven, will do the Fourth District more harm then good.

Dr. Mike Katz is no stranger when it comes to dealing with lobbyists…..That is why when Aetna started refusing to cover the anesthesia necessary for colonoscopies, Mike refused to stay silent. Being intimately familiar with the pain and discomfort of colonoscopies experienced by many of his patients, Mike feared that without proper anesthesia, many individuals would simply opt-out of this critical cancer screening. Refusing to let big insurance bully Delawareans, Mike took a stand—and won.

Cancer doesn’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican.. Let’s hope my fellow voters in the Fourth Senatorial District can be as open-minded.