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Delaware's Heroes For What

We hail our fallen heroes.  Hopefully many of you stirred some dull roots with spring rain today:…  memories, both a blessing and a curse.

But for whom did they die?

Did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC      Contributor      Total Indivs PACs
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                     $71,550                                               $36,550               $35,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co                                                          $58,200                                              $33,200               $25,000
Ashland Inc                                                                                $55,420                                              $25,700               $29,720
Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                      $46,000                                                  $6,000               $40,000
Bank of America                                                                     $40,440                                                 $3,940               $36,500

Those were Tom Carper’s top 5 contibutors……

Or did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,        Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Young, Conaway et al                                                        $121,300                                            $121,300                     $0
Skadden, Arps et al                                                              $92,600                                             $87,600                       $5,000
Grant & Eisenhofer                                                              $70,049                                              $70,049                       $0
Comcast Corp                                                                         $69,200                                            $44,200                       $25,000
Morris, Nichols et al                                                            $57,550                                              $57,550                        $0

Those were Chris Coons’ top 5 contributors……

Or did they die for…....

Top 5 Contributors, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Investment Co Institute                                                $12,500                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
Skadden, Arps et al                                                            $10,640                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
National Multi Housing Council                                $10,500                                                 $0                                     $10,500
Bank of America                                                                  $10,250                                                 $750                                 $9,500
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                 $10,198                                                 $250                                 $9,948

 

These are John Carney’s top contributors……

Our state relative to nationally, is actually on the good end of campaign contribution spectrum.  Nothing here, is really out of line. You should see some in other states…

But let us isolate by industry…..

For John Carney…. 

Top 5 Industries, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC       Industry Total           Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                       $96,520                                                                   $2,820                     $93,700
Securities & Investment                          $93,000                                                                  $1,500                     $91,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $59,110                                                                   $45,610                     $13,500
Commercial Banks                                    $49,000                                                                  $1,250                       $47,750
Finance/Credit Companies                    $43,250                                                                  $5,250                      $38,000

For Chris Coons…….

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,      Campaign Cmt                                                Industry Total             Indivs PACs
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $1,495,387                                                    $1,341,519                    $153,868
Leadership PACs                                        $512,900                                                           $0                              $512,900
Lobbyists                                                       $345,302                                                       $325,472                        $19,830
Securities & Investment                        $296,800                                                       $235,300                      $61,500
TV/Movies/Music                                     $228,157                                                          $163,800                       $64,357

For Tom Carper……..

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte                                            Industry Total               Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                     $371,710                                                          $94,470                         $277,240
Securities & Investment                        $320,340                                                      $125,840                       $194,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $294,382                                                       $170,761                        $123,621
Lobbyists                                                        $214,262                                                     $207,042                            $7,220
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products      $207,710                                                      $50,300                         $157,410

And now, in what I believe is the first time ever…. here is the combination giving you an idea of who influences our 3 man delegation…  Compiled by adding together all three’s industry totals listed above and then ranking them top down…..

 

Lawyers/Law Firms   ……………..    $1,848,879

Securities & Investment …………….   $710,140

Insurance…..,,,,,,,,,……………. , ……   $668,257

Leadership PACs ………………………. $675,400

Lobbyists  ………………………………,…$568,779

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $486,108

Commercial Banks  …………………….$435,240

TV/Movies/Music……………………….$292,067

Finance/Credit Companies………….$208,865

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And that is who owns our delegation….  Just seeing the visual makes it clear why some of the anti-people votes cast by this delegation, … are ever cast at all….   No, contrary to how we exclaim… They are not insane.  They are practical….

It will get worse with McCutcheon passed…

Already the amount of dark money as shown by tallies done by the Center for Responsive Politics show that nondisclosing groups have already reported spending more than three times as much as they had at this point in the 2012 elections — a presidential cycle when higher spending would be expected.”

Did you get that?  The unprecedented spending done in 2012, a contested presidential year, as of now been tripled over the same point of time back in 2012…….. . And it is both sides. In the past dark money was 80% Conservative, 20% Liberal.  Today (2014), it is 60% Conservative; 40% Liberal…   Spending by liberal nondisclosing groups is more than four times higher than it was at this point in 2012, while their conservative counterparts have tripled their previous spending level……

Which means, no tv watching this summer… and social media will become a real turn-off….  Both mean that most of America will tune out this election…  Thank you, Supreme Court…..   What were you smoking?

And if most of America tunes out this election,   it again begs the moral and serious question…. for whom did they die?  Certainly not us.

Delaware's Heroes

 

 

 

 

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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….

So 5 years later, how are we looking?

“I believe there are millions of dollars of waste and inefficiency to eliminate from government. We will find it.”

What do you think?  Knowing the details of school budgets I’d say we found it, with some help from a recession that sort of forced our hand a little.

That means cutting back on many government functions and services

Yep, that happened.

I see beyond the gray clouds, to a brighter Delaware.

Clouds were gray today; all day.

A Delaware where every child can grow to his or her full potential. Where every worker has the opportunity to earn as much as possible. Where every family has the health care, housing, and heat they need to live a decent life.

As far as fulfilling the minimum, Delaware is one of the best in the US.

A Delaware that is the best place in the world to go to school, to raise a family, and to start a business.

Not there yet because we are not taxing enough. Our infrastructure looks poor and rundown compared to our neighbors who tax at higher rates and make sure tax dollars get spent into their economies.

We want to start by using the anticipated federal stimulus money not just to build short-term jobs but to create future growth in energy infrastructure and a greener economy,,

Although not green, both Bloom Boxes and the Delaware City refinery are  up and running now, in part to the stimulus money.

 The basis for that economy is education, and we must make Delaware’s education system the best in the world. We currently rank near the top in the nation for education spending per student. It’s time we rank in the top for education results for students.

Reminder: scores went backwards this past year.

We will spend smarter. We will demand accountability from top to bottom. We will retain, recruit, and train the best teachers in America – and we will reward them for carrying out the most valuable job in Delaware. We will demand the performance, promote the innovation, and provide the flexibility to make every school in this state great.

TFA?  Really?

By creating a 21st-century workforce development system that trains workers for the jobs employers need, we will make the term “Delaware workforce” a high-quality credential that employers trust.

See above:  Educational scores went backwards.

We will expand our efforts to promote entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and asset-building. The ultimate goal of all these innovations will be to promote people-centered, community-based development that makes virtually every individual an economic resource rather than a financial responsibility.

Don’t think we are there yet.

Our commitment to supporting Delaware families will not waver. We will work with the federal government to finally bring affordable health care to every Delawarean.

This is happening as I speak.

We will develop a Public Safety Plan to keep every street in Delaware safe.

Needs to become your first priority. Far more than education.

And we will start by opening up state government itself: I pledge that my administration will be more transparent and accountable than any that have come before.

What do you think?

Some might call this agenda ambitious. Some might even call it “audacious.” But audacity is exactly what this day demands. To brave the raging storm, to dare upon the roiling sea, and still to reach for the further shore: My fellow Delawareans, that is our challenge. That is our charge. That is our task. And this is our time.

Since the turnover of staff beginning in 2013, the Governor has become cautious and now plays things safe.  The ambition, audaciousness, and audacity he extolled back then, is burnt out now.

When the torch was passed to a new generation – and, against great odds, like those before them they carried it higher. Let us be that people. Let us be remembered as that generation. Let us seize these times.

Still waiting.

Nancy had something about SB 27.

This Act would authorize the Department of Education, pending available funds, to offer competitive two year start-up grants to public schools for the purpose of developing new programs for students capable of performing accelerated academic work.

Some background.

It is a copy of the Federal Program that went horribly wrong. The US Department of Education decided to give grants out to just Charter Schools to help them start up and become viable. It is the same as capital funding except these were going to be competitive.  By making it competitive, one can “choose” who will get the money…  Hooray!  Triple X Charter School! You win a Prize!”  and it can be done with no mention that the money would be better served in an existing District, which also did the work and actually put in a better grant application. This type of legislation opens the doorto where I can request money from my “friends” in legislature “whom I shoot pool with”, and they will …”give” it to me, and they can actually preapprove or “guarantee” that I will win the contest ahead of all the other future applicants…

The Federal Program, sponsored by the federal DOE, had one purpose…

“The purpose of the Charter Schools Program (CSP) is to increase the national understanding of the charter school model by (1) expanding the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools, and (2) by evaluating the effects of charter schools, including their effects on students, student academic achievement, staff and parents.”

Now the state is emulating that same policy.

However the Federal Program had some glitches.  In 2011,  the Federal Program awarded new grants to the top two rated applications, New York and Florida. Three other states, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey received highly rated applications but could not be funded with the available FY 2011 funds. Therefore, the Charter Schools Program funded down the FY2011 slate using FY 2012 program funds.

The language of SB 27 specifically designates public schools. Since the Federal Program was strictly for Charters upon which this was modeled, we should get clarity if Charter Schools are being designated here as public schools for this grant?  Public schools are owned by the public, Charter Schools are owned by profit seeking corporations.  Can they, or can they not,… apply for these grants?

Further more, there is now, another task force:  The Gifted and Talented Student Task Force... Time for FOIA requests.

There are two Amendments attached to it in the House both by Miro, and one is to replace the other…  The first amendment has this line added…. supporting existing or inserted before this line… “initiating new programs”.. Apparently he was redacted after posting it, for the second amendment has these lines inserted instead….  “or renewing existing programs of the same description whose funding sources are expiring”.

Then with this sentence in the middle…  “The number of schools receiving such grants and the amount of such grants shall be determined based upon funds available during the relevant fiscal year”…. it concludes with this:   Grants shall not be awarded to supplant existing funds for current programs..

Confusing?  Not just to you.   How can funds be used to renew existing programs which have current funds expiring, but at the same time be forbidden from being used to renew existing funds for current programs?

Cost of this?  The fiscal note is complete, but…by magic, it unfortunately disappeared as has mysteriously happened with all education bills being processed through the General Assembly this session. It went dark as critical voting approaches.  The website shows it was done on this page, but the link… was disabled…

So are we giving Charter Schools, $1 million?  $2 million?  $3 million?  $4 million?  $5 million?  $10 million?  $15 million? $25 million?  $30 million?  $45 million?  $50 million?

Kind of makes the Port of Wilmington look like pennies on the dollar.

I’ll close with Bryan Townend’s remarks,  published by Nancy.

4) “During Senate floor debate, it was noted that the JFC Co-Chair had never seen a bill with a fiscal note that said “TBD” pending decision of JFC. Given the complete novelty of that approach, I believed it to be inappropriate to vote for the bill. It does not set a particularly helpful precedent to pass bills with “TBD” fiscal implications.”

I’ve got this feeling that this Senate under Blevins and this House under Schwartzkoph are taking the Democrats to their ruin in 2014 and 2016. The city seats will be safe, but not the suburbs or rural areas. As these effects hit all public schools on top of Common Core, voters will get mad. When they look back and see shenanigans such as voting on bills that are incomplete to be filled in later, passing bills without debate which will do colossal damage to our educational infrastructure just as suffered by those in Chicago and Philadelphia…

Even I’m ready to work for Republicans running against these rubber stamping guys. You don’t mess with our kids!

Oh! Those Republicans And Their Empty Chairs!

Photo Courtesy of RNC

John Sigler steps down and the race is on for the new Delaware Republican Chair. Most have dropped out but two: An officially declared candidate, and one unofficial one.

At stake is the future of Delaware’s GOP.

Those two are Charlie Copeland and Jeff Cragg.. To most readers, this would be considered a battle between losers, sort of like a Sunday fall afternoon football game to determine which team will lose to get the first NFL draft pick in spring. But I would like to inform you, that is not true.

It is a battle between good and evil. At stake is the future of the Republican Party.

When one speaks of the future, one can look at one thing. Getting votes. For that is what the Republican Party is bad at. The other things, money, organization, fervor, dedicated partisans, blocs of ad time, connections to the “right” people, they have plenty of.

The thing they ardently lack, is people who will even want to vote for them.

The biggest deflection away from the Delaware GOP occurred between 2004 and 2008. During that time, one person, speaker of the Republican House, controlled the entire republican agenda. As you may have guessed, that is the present candidate Charlie Copeland.

The other candidate recently lost a statewide election to an incumbant governor.   If anyone knows what it takes to get a good Republican candidate elected to a statewide office, it is him.  He’s been there.  He’s tried.

The odds are on that Copeland will probably take it for all the wrong reasons.   One, he works on the principal that if you support Copeland he’ll support you.  With him as the future chairman, every Republican will be watching their backs to swivel in the last second. to dodge the stick of the knife.  One must remember all the past double crosses attached to the Copeland name.  There were many times when promises went unfulfilled.

Some who think back, may remember better times when Copeland was the principle mover of the Republican caucus.  They envision him again returning their party to glory.  They remember  the press releases, the interviews,  the photo ops; they look to no longer having their party appear the loser that it is.  They forget how it got that way.

It got that way because the Republican Party fell in love with itself.  Better to masturbate than go out and get votes it thought.  They talked of how great they were, and ignored the problems real people were having.  They talked of doubling down, being resolutely determined, and smashing down all who stood in their way, when it was real genuine hurting people, who found themselves standing where the Republican Party wanted to go.  Take more money from the middle class, get rid of more unions which are only there to make sure people were treated fairly, cut more services needed by everyday people so the rich could get richer.

Instead of results, Copeland gave us blame.  First blame the Democrats, then as the election results went sour, blame Bill Lee, blame Tim Ross, blame everyone but the real culprit.

Now let’s look at Jeff Cragg.  When no one wanted to run, Jeff said,… “If Republican Party goes into the “General” with a blank spot for governor, our party is finished. ”  When Copeland said, “Who me?  Run for Governor?  And lose to Markell?  Are you effin crazy?”   Jeff  did just that,. for the good of the party; it is still intact.  Whereas Copeland made a decision based on personal ambition, Jeff took the opposite tack.  Jeff came to the aid of his party suffering a stunning defeat, because it needed him.

Copeland ran the party in better times.  But that party was shattered, broken in part because all the personal connections built up over lifetimes, were split, shunned, double-crossed, and poked fun of, leaving very few pieces standing; so few pieces still upright they couldn’t save Mike Castle….  Jeff put pieces together and ran.

The question before the Republican Party is this.  Of the two who can get more people to vote Republican… A builder?   Or a Tearer-Down?

Who makes the better preacher?  The one who can convert more sinners into saints?  Or which of these two has a better shot of success?  A person responsible for the previous collapse, or a person experienced in building something out of nothing?..

We all have a gut and mine says the latter:  the person who built something out of nothing.  Not the rich son who squandered his Father’s wealth.

All the money in the world won’t help Delawarean Republicans one bit, if no one wants to cast their vote because of what your party stands  for……

AFter considering an exchange propagated by Delaware Politic’s David Anderson, and subsequent discussion upon that thread, Delaware’s Chairman of the Republican Party, John Sigler is stepping down.

Starting with;

“My friend, you are smart, capable, and competent. You did not run for reelection to preside over the demise of the party you love, but to revive it. Please talk like it. “

The piece goes on to question why Delaware’s republican party was repeating the mistakes of the past.  It castigates the current chair for not leading….

“We have lost 30 volunteers in the last 6 weeks to the Independent Party of Delaware because they are willing to grow and fight. The what, IPOD–how do we lose people to a little party that couldn’t fill a back room in a small restaurant last year for a convention? ”

“The first step to all of that is not giving people the impression that we are losers. We are contenders on the verge of becoming champions.”

Comments then drove it home…  some excerpts……

“But in truth… it is really all goes back to the first… Why Sigler? The answer I can only come up with, is that the organization itself is tired, beat up, broken down and on its final count, so worn out that it would rather stay on the floor and have it be over, than get back up to start hitting back…”

“Again, it comes down to the first… Why Sigler? Answer us how with Sigler in charge your party can muster a counter attack no matter how much cajoling the underlings do?”

That seems to hit home.  The Northern Republican apparatus was abuzz with calls today.

Then one commenter put everything into perspective.

“But it certainly is beginning to appear that conservatism needs to divorce itself from the Republican Party. That party will not carry your banner as high as you would like, ever again. Especially after the last war. As long as conservatives remain in the Republican Party they will continue to only receive lip service to their faces, all the while secret denials of their clout will be leaked to the media by their top campaign operatives.”

The commenter then continues to drive the point that the Conservatives need to form a new party, particularly the one now called IPOD, as opposed the the original one founded by Liz Allen and Frank McDowell… This and that are two different parties.

The commenter then advises:

“But if you do choose to ban together, you must all bite your tongues and be wary that the slightest slip, will do little to help you exert control within the party, but utterly destroy the entire legitimacy of conservatism itself… Just looking above on this thread, it is apparent that the Delaware Republican contingent has mismanaged many Conservatives over the past. if all these were to somehow come together and combine their talents, it is quite possible that conservatives could begin organizing to make a comeback, not as a wing of the moderate Republican Party, but as IPODs.”

And then reality struck!

Much was said of Christine O’Donnell. But in 2008 she beat the current Vice President in quite a few RD’s. Stop for a second and savor that: she beat the Vice President in his home state. Imagine if all those votes became IPODs? and why wouldn’t they, if IPODs became the rallying point for local rural conservative values? It is conceivable. If this could come to pass, the IPODs would sit on Sussex County Council.. The IPOD’s would have seats in the General Assembly.

It is obvious why the resignation was quick, sudden, and mysterious.

Courtesy of  Top Hits of The Seventies

I’m really sick today.. You see, when I was growing up, I was a history buff. I read childhood biographies of famous people, usually with the book behind the textbook while the teachers droned on and on, but once as a tyke, who upon seeing the obligatory National Park Film in the Williamsburg Visitors Center, after Patrick Henry sat down, I swore, I would always fight to protect the Constitution…. At that moment, even little as I was, I think I understood that I was temporary… But the Constitution like God, needed to be around forever…

With childish enthusiasm I imagined myself at times on the bridges of Lexington and Concord, roaming the swamps of South Carolina, and firing my muskets at King’s Mountain, and most importantly, crossing that line in the dirt on December 31, 1776 when no one else wanted to, to enlist till the end of the war.. . When it made the real difference, I said, I would step up at my own peril..

Today, I feel as George Washington must have, perched upon his horse on the New Jersey banks of the Hudson, watching the British inhabit New York and knowing there was nothing he or anyone else could do about it… Overmatched, the cause of freedom had taken a body slam.

Perhaps it is more like going back 2000 some years though. And being full of great optimism and hope for a burgeoning empire, a group of city states destined to prosper and rise, one whose morals would be impeccable, and suddenly without warning, ones best friend pulls out a knife and shoves it into your flesh and others pull out theirs, opening wounds where they can.

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution states that …. oh damn, here it is in it’s entirety.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Granted there have been times, particularly at war, when protecting Americans meant going against the grain of this… If someone is about to shoot you, I mean, it certainly would help if you know about it first…..

The problem with too much accumulation of information, is that once you have it, it can be used. Assurances along the lines of “I’ll never do that”… always down the line get replace with platitudes of…. ” I did it because I could…” or… ” I needed to.”

So having every thing you’ve ever done electronically in a file instantly accessed by simply typing in your name, can be a bit disconcerting… It’s a catch 22. If you have not a single demerit because you lead such a bland life, you get castigated for being a wallflower and uninteresting. On the other hand, if you take risks to live life fully, you get castigated for the errors you made… Either way, those with the power will use it to castigate you for something…. And though disguised as their trying to put you in your place, it is really their effective attempt to prove to others they wield power…

Today’s Senate voted overwhelmingly to continue the FISA Admendments Act. Like ACTA or CISPA or any other internet freedom restricting acts, had opposition been organized, it may have demanded another outcome. But today’s bill arose out of nowhere, and leadership demanded it pass, and pass it did….

Numb today, I understand the implications. It is like we chose to keep Japanese interned in concentration camps after the war was over. It is that bad.. If we are doing it for the Japanese, eventually someone argues, why not anyone else? And really, how else can one answer such an argument except to expand the offense to a greater scale?

I didn’t find about the attempted coup until waking up 3 am today. I did see outrage that Zuckerman’s picture was Twittered off a private feed! The silence over government taking our freedom, and the outrage over the release of privacy, is a stunning comparison. It begs the question: what is wrong with all of us? Shouldn’t the outrage be the other way around?

For the first time that I can find, we as a nation, have chosen to continue a war-powers act, on into peace-time. 9/11 is gone. Bin Laden is dead. We’ve preditor’d out Al Qaieda’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, in command. We are out of Iraq. We will soon be out of Afghanistan. We are not in a war for our nation’s survival. So why does the government need access into every American’s email, facebook account, twitter, photo’s? Why does the FBI need to show up at your facebook friends home, with a letter stating that you are under surveillance and then asking questions of their relationship with you, then forcing their silence by telling them that they can be prosecuted themselves if they even reveal to you that they’d had contact with government officials? Gee, did you ever had a friend get weird on you suddenly, like for no reason?

Should our government be allowed to do that?

According to the text of the Fourth Amendment listed above…. Absolutely Not.

And it was over before the child in me could even get his powder cartridge out of his gunnysack…

Jobs Grow Better When All Republicans are Gone

Here is the problem… The red on top of the line must equal the red on the bottom line before we can go forward. Currently there is now more red on the top of the line. We are indeed better off than we were four years ago. More of us are working…… 325,000 more of us incidentally.

This shows a more disturbing trend. This document does not go far enough back into the Bush administration files, but if one does follow, one sees red below the line all the way back to when Clinton handed off the reins to Bush. That was the last time we had red above the line until we (whoo hoo) just happened to vote for the greatest president in our lifetimes and his accompanying party, the Democratic one…

The Capitalist Party (formerly called the Republicans) don’t really care about jobs. As Capitalist’s (formerly called Republican’s) they care about earnings per dollar. Jobs are a side effect, but when too many people impact their earnings per dollar, they get rid of them. When unions impact their earnings per dollar, they get rid of them. when the Chinese impact their earnings per dollar, they run to them, ignoring the slave conditions those human beings must endure in order to line the Capitalist’s (formerly known as Republican’s) pockets….

When can Capitalist’s (formerly called Republicans) grow jobs? Only when they build a new plant here in the USA. Once it gets built, they have no use for the builders. they have no use for the opening team, they have no use for those extras needed to fill in when someone quits. Once it gets built, they fire people. They like to “fire people Romney says”. (yeah, I know, I’m disingenuous).

If one looks back over the economic data from WWII one sees job growth steady until Ronald Reagan (benefit of doubt given to Nixon_Ford because of oil embargo).. As soon as Reagan got elected, we entered a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible recession. People got termed left and right. Democrats in Congress were persuaded to lower taxes because of the economy. We had one year of growth. 2006, and then the slide. The 2008 tax law (a low 28% top marginal rate), immediately sucked out and flattened growth and sent it on a skid; we entered the worst recession until Bill Clinton raised taxes and instantly, we began our climb out. It was instantaneous as anyone who foolishly bet on the stock market against Bill Clinton, can well attest. Taxes on the wealthy are the most awesome thing ever created by mankind. The climb continued, America reached new heights of prosperity, and growth seemed like an endless proposition… That is, until the Bush tax cut. Growth stopped. Construction got laid off. And we began our descent. During the Bush years our descent was modified by a housing bubble the Capitalists (formerly called Republicans) created; we borrowed against their newly increased estimated value to survive and keep our Clintonian Standard of Living; it was also blunted by two trillion dollar wars, (imagine being given a credit card with unlimited balance on it; “whoo hoo, livin’ it up, baby” spoken in Donviti style).) As soon as the Capitalist (formerly known as Republicans) were kicked out, the debt became due.

Bottom line, is on the chart above, Capitalists (formerly called Republicans) had a job slump in negative numbers stretching back across the time spans of two of these charts added on to the right.

So when Mitt Romney accuses our Commander in Chief, SURE YOU GREW JOBS, BUT YOU DIDN’T GROW JOBS FAST ENOUGH, one has to point out how his own policies under George W. Bush, did nothing to grow jobs either…. In fact, Mitt Romney’s policies, cost America jobs. (See the evidence in the red below the line in the graph above).

But if you don’t already know that Capitalist’s (formerly called Republicans) economic policy is nothing more than a smokescreen for getting all the money out of your pocket and into theirs, then you aren’t reading this blog… There are still dumb people out there who still believe in Republican values; they just can’t read….

If you do read this, it can be assumed that you already know that every single economic fact ever truthfully told, shows that if you take money out of the middle class, your economy fails. It doesn’t matter if you are a Capitalist (formerly known as Republican)… or a Communist. If you take money out of the middle class, your economy falls….

So how does one put money back into the Middle Class? It’s one word but I’ll say it twelve times, one for each term it has been in effect: Democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats, democrats…..

That is how one puts money back onto the middle class and grows one’s nation and ones economy…

Don’t take my word for it. Look at the chart above! And just imagine how wonderful it would be if we had not had a Capitalist (formerly known as Republican) House of Representatives intent on tubing the economy just to make Obama looked bad? Imagine how great our results would now be, if they had. instead chosen to help America get back up on its economic feet, instead of kickin’ our ass with their pointy cowboy boots, while we were down?

One word leads to more jobs and Economic Growth. Democrats.

There are a couple of issues where Romney is not forthcoming.   His tax returns.  His Bain Capital Investments.  His relation with his church. Privacy is important.  We support keeping what is meant to stay private, private.

But one can not surpass a smile, when one sees a younger Mitt Romney before the National Press Club on January 3, 2000, brag about the openness he brought to the scandal ridden Olympic committee.

Nor can one surpass a smile, when they hear the young Mitt Romney say he underestimated the budget and the costs required to pull it off.

Nor can one surpass a smile, when they hear the young Mitt Romney say:  we couldn’t do it ourselves;  we had to get help from the Federal government.

And when they hear Romney telling of the four time attempt to the grasp the gold for Dan Jansen, they are reminded of Romney’s own lost election attempts.

In regards to openness, Romney after taking over the scandal ridden committee, hammers out a code of ethics and has everyone sign them.  One of those items on that list was that all transactions, every invoice, would be open to public scrutiny.  Mitt brags:  “All the documents inside our organization are available to the public.  Simply submit a form saying which document you want to see.  For instance I want to see all the letters written by Mr. Romney to Mr. Samaranch.  You’ll get them all.  Takes us about twenty days for the people to go through and get those things. We collect them and provide them to any citizen that wants to have them”.  Quite different from his currently establishing a new precedent of only showing his tax returns for the years he “knew” he was going to run for president.  Will the public be then prompted to ask:  “What kind of character do you have?  How do you act when you are NOT running for president?”  We shall see.

It is equally interesting to hear Romney speak on his budget overage.  When he inherited the Olympics, they were $378 million behind.  Up to his entry, they had raised $13 million and had only one sponsor. They predicted they would need to raise $900 million.  Actual cost was $1.8 billion, double the original total. “We were off.   We estimated we would generate $859 million dollars in sponsor revenue.  Of course we calculated that without knowing what had been raised before.  Turns out the all time record for sponsorship revenue, came from Atlanta: $480 million raised in sponsorship revenue.  Our numbers are a little off.  Sometimes when cities get together and get excited about how much money they are going to make on the games themselves, the numbers are not quite accurate.  There is a reason for that.  There is no general accepted accounting for the Olympics. “

His success wasn’t his alone.  ” It is not something which we have done by ourselves.  It is not something we can accomplish by ourselves.  Everything we have accomplished has been done by virtue a collaboration of all sorts of leaders through out our country.  I want to acknowledge the support of the Utah delegation, many the members of which, and their offices are here today, which have been enormously helpful in providing funding for security, for housing, for transportation and so forth.  We also have here today Mickey Ibarra. I don’t know where Mickey is, but Mickey is special assistant to President Clinton for intergovernmental affairs, and he is also, I want to get this title right… he is also vice chairman of the  presidential task force of the Olympic Games.  The Clinton administration has been a ‘friend of the Olympics.” and has worked hard to make sure our Olympics are successful. … We depend enormously on the support of government and all its agencies to make sure we can be wonderful hosts, to the world. ”   Apparently in the real world outside politics,  “everyone” needs a little help.

Some more vignettes that cause the mouth to curl…. ” I believe we should judge people, celebrate people,  not by what they have, but by what they are. “   One can’t help but smile when they remember how Mitt always responds to the question, “what Sir,  qualifies you to be president…”

Of course this is just my opinion  made while suppressing a smile, but I would gladly wager that the Mitt Romney of yesterday (2000) would be a lot stronger of a candidate if  he were running against todays Obama  instead of the Mitt Romney of 2012,….  come November the Republicans would have lost by a much, much smaller margin.