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sometimes it pays to listen to these guys

Wall Street Journal buried this deep within their pages: Banks Delay Sale Of Chrysler Debt As Market Stalls

In plain English it means that banks have decided not to fund the Chrysler deal. The deal will still go through, mind you, but the risk will be absorbed solely by those underwriting the deal, and the 12 billion will not be spread to investors as has been done in the past. “The market has dried up.”

This does not bode well for Newark. Why? Because the cost of money, or the interest rate for the twelve billion, has just risen.  That means that all costs, supplies, labor, and facilities, must be tightened even tighter in order that corporate is able to pay for the increased financing.

Plain talk: their mortgage, which was already 200 million a year, just hit the ARM plan and may go as high or higher than 300 million!!

That money was sorely needed to invest in environmentally friendly and marketable vehicles. They do not have that option and will have no recourse but to buckle down, hold on, and hope to survive a financial ride as scary as the Ka.

One can only hope that Kia or Hyundai is interested in opening shop in Delaware…..It will be a new experience for the local UAW to be sure, but Toyota seems to treat Americans more fairly than does our own……..At least foreign autos are sensitive to America’s needs and do not foot drag when it comes to creating cars that American’s WANT to buy…….

Anyone who clicked on the above links saw a difference in profitability among all those manufactures. Delaware needs to send someone to South Korea today. Secure jobs are often found within secure companies.

So what does this mean to everyone else? A lot. Here is how it breaks down.

Cheap money is no longer available. It is what has been driving up the stock market. Next time someone tells you it was republican tax policy, bitch slap them. (smile) If borrowed money is cheap then one can afford to spend more in the acquisition of a corporation, because on the bottom line, the cost is the same. Similar to the housing boom which has now ended, the monthly mortgage is the same on a house costing 250,000 at a 3% rate as an 80,000 house at 9%. Just as house prices soared, so did the price of corporations, pushing the market upward……….

Well, ladies and gentlemen. That push has stopped, as of yesterday…….The Fed may react someway and save us from a crash similar to the last time money was not available…..1929.

The political implications are obvious. This could not have happened under a competent Al Gore administration. But I will leave that for someone else to expound. Right now my broker is shut down, off-line, and not answering calls………

I just hope I can shift everything over to “fixed” before everyone else catches on…………………….Sometimes it pays to listen to these guys.....

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When Johnson fired Edwin Stanton back in ’68, Radical republicans decided that this firing violated the Tenure of Office Act , and politically inspired, they drew up impeachment proceedings against then president, Andrew Johnson. It was 1868. Based on party lines the vote looked good and most republicans were casting straws to see who would become the next president.

Their plans came to a quick end when one of their own, Edmund Ross, refused to lay down the deciding vote. He voted no on impeachment. ” I looked down at my open grave.” is is often commented as saying.

As one commentator remarked, the political climate in ’68 was so divisive that Andrew Johnson would have been impeached for “stepping on a dog’s tale”. The Republicans had been looking for a chance to impeach for over a year and finally had their opportunity. One man, Edmund Ross, went against his party, for a higher ideal. He believed the president should be allowed to hire and fire whom he pleased. He also believed that just because Congress was of a different political stripe, one did not fire the president for a minor trumped up charge.

A similar republican attempt occurred in ’98. This time it was 1998 with Bill Clinton. The charge was masqueraded as a perjury violation, but really it was a political move designed by republicans to sully the most popular president ever. It failed. Furthermore public opinion backfired upon Republicans who themselves heavily lost popularity points and many of those who were instrumental in its prosecution, became the butts of public jokes. Americans refused to buy into the philosophy that their president should be impeached for something that goes on in most American homes every day.

Ironically both times impeachment processes have been initiated in our nation’s history, they were 1) initiated by republicans and 2) done so for purely political reasons……..

With the clear view of hindsight, one could argue that perhaps the republicans knowingly went through the Clinton impeachment process so that their following president could break the law and not have to be impeached. It is unlikely that it was planned as such, but that is exactly what happened.

The best protection Bush/Cheney has against impeachment, is the recent memory of the folly of the last one 9 years ago.

Surely we do not want to go through with that process again. Or do we?

Let’s apprise our current situation and see where we stand.

When one US attorney refused to strip black voters off the registration forms in Missouri, he was removed. His replacement promptly did just that. It was irrelevant. They hate Bush so much in Missouri, that his candidate lost anyway. Manipulating an election. Not a crime.

During the 2000 election huge, monstrous contributions went into the Bush campaign treasury from BP, Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, and Chevron. For this, they were promised exclusive rights to the oil lying just under the sand in Iraq. It was tough but a war was created that put us over top of those sands. We are in the process of getting the Oil PSA’s some cover by having them legitimized by our puppet government, despite total Iraqi opposition. Those PSA’s will allow those companies to extract the oil for free up to amortization, then pay royalties on only 30% thereafter. Bribery perhaps? Not a crime.

Currently a member of the White house staff was forbidden to testify before Congress. Today it was learned that a warning went out: any judge or attorney who attempted to file a contempt of Congress charge on any White House staff member, would be fired………Embarrassing, perhaps? But not a crime.

The language for impeachment is specific. It must be for either “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. ” Precedent has shown that finding a little rule broken, does not constitute a high crime or misdemeanor. If impeachment is to carry, if done by the Democrats, it needs to be done right. Impeachment is a serious action and all its consequences need to be taken seriously.

Do we impeach Bush, or Bush and Cheney. Will the perspective of Pelosi as chief executive hurt, or help Bush’s case before the Senate.

Are the crimes that serious? Impeachment should be reserved for someone who accumulates power and refuses to listen to either 1) Congress, 2) the Judicial Branch, or 3) the American people. When once we have determined that we have a president like that, then it will be time to impeach…………….

Sometimes a lightning bolt of a thought strikes from nowhere. When it does, you know you have found your answer.

There is a false quality many have mentioned about the front runners. Scripted to every detail, repetitive as a hammer, their responses seem nice, agreeable, and flat……

The problem with the political process, is that Americans are not involved. Each candidate is a carefully marketed bag of rice, and all the marketing is designed to say: “pick me.” In our busy lives, we are not only responsible for picking out the “rice”, but also the milk, the car, the cereal, the dessert treats, gasoline, etc. The election process boils down to just another product piped into my home by cable, mail, or obscene phone banks.

Normally these things happen to me in a church pew, but this time the answer I needed came from a surprising source.

In a recent comment, Tyler Nixon dished up the answer. As soon as I saw it, I realized that those of us who care about the future of Constitutional Government need to steer the campaign towards this direction. Speaking of Biden, Tyler says this.

Biden, for example, has emerged as not only a “gaffe machine” but a Teflon one! Why? Because he is forgiven these “sins” as coming from a genuine man revealing himself rather than a plasticine politician exposing himself.

Like the other candidates I mentioned Biden’s foibles make him “real”. One thing a professional politician can’t fabricate is a good foible. If you have none, you are not to be trusted in my view. Those who would present themselves as perfection have the most imperfections to hide – if not the worst ones….

In such a similar way Reagan endeared himself to millions of Democrats, thereby enabling the beginning of the Republican regime. One knows a long termer is wary of trips and hazards, and Biden is a long termer. Comparatively, the newness of some of our front runners, is not reassuring. No Senator since Kennedy has attained election as the most powerful person in the world. Perhaps that is why relations between Congress and Executive are at an all time low…..

What I’m looking for in a candidate is someone I can trust. I don’t expect perfection, not in this day and age, but I am looking for an old warrior. Someone who has seen up close both the good and the bad of human nature, and will do everything to promote the good, and anything to stop the bad.

Democrat or Republican does not matter. Fixing America, does.

I’ll trust an imperfect friend before I’ll trust a salesman who attempts to sell me on his candidate’s perfection.

“Troops out now”. We hear it all the time. It is the opposite of “Stay the course.” But how many troops are going to leave? How many troops are going to stay? Those answers from the candidates, may surprise you.

Two candidates have forthrightly said, we need to pull all troops out now…….Both of those candidates, Kucinich and Richardson make up less than a combined 2% of all poll numbers. The big movers and shakers, Hillary, Obama, and Edwards have much different messages.

When we hear “withdrawal of American troops from Iraq” we think of all our troops coming home to parades and flags. However what is really being said, is these major candidates support the withdrawal of “combat troops” or “combat brigades.” These effective fighting forces, at the most, make up only 45% of all troops in Iraq. The rest, who are unmentioned, one can assume are to remain there for a long time, especially now that we have a new embassy and need to maintain our new military bases.

Why? Because any serious contender for President cannot publicly be for the chaotic fall of any country in the Middle East……..in other words….the loss of oil….

So the Democratic front-runners must promise voters that they will end the war — with not too many ideologically laden ifs, ands, or buts — while they assure the foreign-policy establishment that they will never abandon the drive for hegemony in the Middle East (or anywhere else). In other words, the candidates have to be able to talk out of both sides of their mouths at the same time. Ira Chernus: The Democrats’ Iraqi Dilemma: Questions Unasked, Answers Never Volunteered

It is time to begin ending this war…. Start bringing home America’s troops…. within 90 days ” says Hillary Clinton. Excuse me but did anyone hear the word “all”? It seems to have been casually omitted. Previously she said this: “We have remaining vital national security interests in Iraq…. What we can do is to almost take a line sort of north of, between Baghdad and Kirkuk, and basically put our troops into that regionOne reporter admits that Clinton expects U.S. troops to be in Iraq when she ends her second term in 2017. She wants 80,000 more troops with an emphasis on special forces.

Obama is not pulling all the troops out either…..To control everything and everyone, he wants “the strongest, best-equipped military in the world.… A 21st century military to stay on the offense.” That, he says, will take at least 92,000 more soldiers and Marines. Like Hillary, Barack would remove all “combat brigades” from Iraq, but keep U.S. troops there “for a more extended period of time” — even “redeploy additional troops to Northern Iraq” — to support the Kurds, train Iraqi forces, fight al Qaeda, “reassure allies in the Gulf,” “send a clear message to hostile countries like Iran and Syria,” and “prevent chaos in the wider region.” “Most importantly, some of these troops could be redeployed to Afghanistan…. to stop Afghanistan from backsliding toward instability.”

Obama plans to use redeployment as a carrot. The redeployment could be temporarily suspended if the parties in Iraq reach an effective political arrangement that stabilizes the situation and they offer us a clear and compelling rationale for maintaining certain troop levels.

Edwards goes further than either Obama or Clinton in spelling out that we “will also need some presence in Baghdad, inside the Green Zone, to protect the American Embassy and other personnel”. Edwards continues: : “I would put stabilization first.” “Stabilization” is yet another establishment code word for insuring U.S. control, as Edwards certainly knows. His ultimate aim, he says, is to ensure that the U.S. will “lead and shape the world.”

The top Democrats agree that we must leave significant numbers of U.S. troops in Iraq. This is remarkably similar to the Republican position. However,…..both sides politely seem to dismiss any mention of the number of Iraqis and/or servicemen killed during our lengthy stay………..

Well, perhaps it’s time Americans started asking such questions. A lost war should be the occasion for a great public debate on the policies and the geopolitical assumptions that led to the war

Tomsdispatch.com puts the challenge before us in clear terms. “Bush, Cheney, and their supporters say the most important message is a reassuring one: “When the U.S. starts a fight, it stays in until it wins. You can count on us.” For key Democrats, including congressional leaders and major candidates for the imperial Presidency, the primary message is a warning: “U.S. support for friendly governments and factions is not an open-ended blank check. If you are not producing, we’ll find someone else who can.”

This is a debate about tactics; not about goals. Among the American people a greater debate is raging. At stake is whether America should be allowed to create a war to further certain interests of its own economy?   Or………… should America agree to play by the same rules it insists that all other’s abide by: thou shalt not invade another country for resources. At first glance it appears that in their courtship with the powerful elite for those delicious campaign dollars, the leading Democrats have placed their foot in the very same traps that snapped shut upon the feet of the Republicans.

It is time that all Americans look hard at this duplicity.

Perhaps in such a reflective light, many of the minor candidates, such as Biden, do appear to have the better shine after all…………..

Poor little Paris. She gets blamed for everything. But this time it is truly not her fault. Only the timing between the fulfillment of her punishment and the commuting of any punishment for Scooter Libby, has thrust her in the limelight on this issue.

Being a celebrity, Paris Hilton received a harsh sentence that no one else would get for the same crime. Scooter, on the other hand, due to his celebrity status with Dick Cheney, gets a pardon that no one else would get for the same crime.

Bush says the his Republican judge, that he appointed, gave too harsh a sentence.

Does anyone remember the woman who was put to death by lethal injection in Texas. The one who had become a Christian and changed her life. She was asking that her sentence be committed to life in prison, instead of death, so that she could continue to do some good with what life she had left?

Bush refused. He told her, ” you did the crime; the court set your time; I don’t give a dime.”

She took it like a man.

Apparently any decision made by the court of the United States of America, does not apply when it goes against the will of the White House. In other words, America is governed by two sets of principals: one set applies to Bush/Cheney; the other set to all other Americans.

We have our hypocrite.

One could argue this callous disregard for all laws of our nation has run throughout this administration since the day it took office. In fact, as evidenced most recently by Dick Cheney, they have actually said their office is above the law, in no uncertain terms.

If this premise is not challenged, then a major precedent is being set before our eyes. Whoever the next administration may be, will continue to push legal interpretions further and further, until the Divine Right of Kings is thrust upon us as fait accompli.

It is for this, we must start holding our Presidency accountable, starting today. Not for political stakes, mind you, but to define which side of royality we want our president on.

We can thank Paris Hilton for this. To see her exit her jail cell with her head held high, her punishment complete, her life back on track, and then compare it to an characterless administration that continues to refuse its acceptance of any accountability for the millions of things it has done wrong……………….

No wonder Americans paid more attention to Ms Hilton, than they did to this tepid administration. She deserves it…………………..

Likewise, the enablers like Delaware’s congressman Mike Castle, who stood by as this happened, and still stand on the sidelines and wring their hands, still vocally supporting this administration instead of calling for accountability………..they should take a page from Paris Hilton’s handbook as well……………..

Taking the Easy Pass Lane

So there I was as a young man, traipsing over the grassy knolls of a compound called Dachau……..and the single image of which I could not shake from my mind, was a view back home from the top of the former Twin Towers.………taken while walking  around the observatory in a slow 360 degree circle and realizing that the entire mass of humanity in that circle of twenty miles, was less than the amount of those eradicated by the Nazis, without a whimper from the German people.

And as my eyes watered a bit, ((no I did not cry), I was still too young), while gazing upon the fake showers, and peering into the cyanide vats on the other side, a tiny child’s voice between my ears, kept repeating a phrase I had stumbled across before the tour on the floor inside the museum. ” You saw us being beaten, you saw us wearing stars, you saw us humiliated, you saw us being transported, and YET YOU DID NOTHING……… I remember at the time being quite angry at the timidity and the complicity of the German people. For a brief moment I hated them…….and in a typical fashion common of that gender in possession of high and excessive levels of testosterone, in those emotional moments I vowed that I, (superior being that I was) would never fear or cave in to brutal intimidation………..

Today, my friend’s friend, lies buried in Arlington……And when I clicked on a forgotten link……(do I still need this?…) and saw the face of a very brave New Castle citizen…….looking back from her high school picture…..those jaded eyes of mine wet over again as I slowly realized that I too had failed to live up to that promise I once made on a bright July afternoon, while standing beside a giant trench planted over with flowers……….

So where was I when it happened? What was I doing that was so important as events played around me? Nothing earth shattering really, and if you probe and scrape all the residue away, I was simply way too busy going through motions in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, to really worry making those tough sacrifices that are personally required to implement the necessary changes (piece of crap, I am)……. Then,……… something about that girl’s picture…………..pissed me off. I think it was how much like my own daughter she was……

So what can I do? Not much, I am no Kissinger nor Howard Baker. I cannot bring these people together and make a settlement. But I can make a choice……and that choice is this.

I can choose to STOP DOING NOTHING. I can go on record and suffer the surprise trip to Guantanamo that may come in the middle of the night (risk diminished), or the bullet to the back of the head in some forgotten landfill (not likely), if it comes to that. And most particularly, I can look at those who enabled and supported this administration when it chose to invade a nation that had not attacked us, a nation that had no intention of attacking us, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11…….but only a nation that had the poor unfortunate distinction, of being the chosen victim that this bully of an administration had decided to make an example of………..long before the 2000 elections were ever held!

If any of you have ever felt that you too have done too little, that you too were lulled and fooled into believing this war made you safer, then come, join me outside Delaware congressman Mike Castle’s office on Friday July 6th. And should you be too busy, I will understand. Most likely you do not have that haunting childlike voice as do I between my ears, that implores ……..AND YET YOU DO NOTHING…….…But if, by some ancient gene, you do…… possess the capacity to know right from wrong, and if…… by the grace of God, you have been given time to come and be counted, and if…… you do not want to pass on, having never made a difference in anything………… then take the half hour, and come and join us; be counted on this upcoming Friday at 11:00am. (Tell Boss-women you have a doctors appointment if you have to……or call on someone you know who feels like you do, and unlike you, has nothing going on at moment in time.)

Results:

If ten people show, the war goes on, but us ten can rest at ease that we did our part. If twenty show, our numbers just grew 100% !!…….If hundreds show, one or two lines will appear in the News Journal and it will not have been in vain. If a thousand people show, the Congressman and staff will take notice. And just maybe……just maybe……..find within themselves the moral courage to add their voice to echo ours……..WE CAN MAKE A CHOICE……WE CAN DO SOMETHING.

In democracy, the real leaders are always “We, the people“: it is us who tell the government what We want them to do…… Please……..come with us……….and make our stand?

Brief notes:

What didn’t happen?

SB 04 did not escape fast enough when Thurman Adam’s bottom drawer was quickly open and shut. It and HB 04 expired last night from lack of oxygen.

Few gave much chance that either bill would survive once they entered the dreaded Senate Executive committee. Gee, who is on that committee? One, the chair, is a Democrat! Thurman Adams who hails from the Sussex County town of Bridgeville. The others include the following Democrats: Patty Blevins, Tony DeLuca, and Jim Vaughn, who can now retire since it will not matter how his replacement would vote. The committee is complimented by the ghost of Wayne Smith, Charlie Copeland, and the renewable resource fox lover, Liane Sorenson

If you need a good cry, look back through the January archives of Delaware’s bloggers and see the hopefulness that burned within. Then on 1/11 the Senate bill got pegged. On March 20, the House Bill 04 disappeared along with it after being passed 38 to 1 in the House.

So lets see…….in the House, which is Republican, almost everyone except for Rehoboth’s Democrat, voted to have the Bond Bill brought out of committee three days before the last day of the session. This year, the bond bill came out and was passed sight unseen at11:01 by the Senate, and at 12:54 by the House. 3.4 Billion and now you know more of what was in it than any of those voting yea did in the early morning hours!

So who failed us? We did, you and me. As any high school student of physics will tell you, under the law of inertia, it takes an unbalanced force to challenge and change the direction of a moving object. And our General Assembly has been traveling in this direction for a long time.

Only Delaware’s bloggers are “unbalanced enough” to create the precisely applied force required to change the direction of our legislature. Now, after tonight, it is public knowledge as to where that force needs to be applied………….

So we’ll give those lobbyists who packed the galleries early into the morning, fingers crossed that their special projects would go unnoticed until passage, then high five-ing their way down Lockerman Street to their favorite watering hole-(Hi Diana (bartender))………..to them, we give the first round.    But it was no TKO;   just a one point split decision. We now know their Achilles heel.

Incidentally,  of all the personalities. on either side of the aisle, in either chamber,   the most impressive personality was,……………………………Karen Peterson.  Someday she really could be governor.

Occasionally something pops up and causes me to remember Senator Lloyd Bentsen, D Texas, responding to soon to be Vice President Quayle’s allusion that he, a young Republican was the new John Kennedy.

“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

Today another John is in the news, albeit briefly. Often as human beings we sometimes tend to make assumptions about the motives of another person, based solely upon our own emotional reaction. Because we happen to be in a somber or serious mood, any form of satire, humor, or silliness is taken verbatim and acted upon as an actual threat………..Only when one accounts for the degree of damage caused by a humorous action, can we hold its perpetrator accountable. For example, it would really be hilarious to yell fire in a crowded theater and watch all the fools (those not in on the joke) get flustered and crawl over each other to get out. Only when the bodies were counted, would we realize that our joke was not very funny to those families lined up to claim those corpses. Only then, would we understand the serious implications behind our actions.

John is a funny guy. He is outrageous. He is probably slightly crazy. (I love this quote)

“Daniello is the type of guy who can ask, as he did Saturday, “Can we all stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, please?” and make it sound like a threat. Do not cross him when he has a gavel in his hand.” With this reputation it would be irresistible not to utter some outlandish proposition, strut and fret your hour upon the stage, and watch the minions scurry away in fear and trepidation.

John Daniello received his 15 minutes of fame last night, making it all the way to Kos and perhaps Malkin with his reported comment. Quite possibly he got more hits last night than he got votes against Dupont in 1970!

Many young bucks, restless after years of hiding behind a Bush, want to let chips fly, open wide the doors to opportunity, and let anyone and everyone have a run at the gold ring, and with a “what the hell,” throw all to the wind and let the voters decide, then accept whoever the voters choose. But underlying their premise, is the unspoken notion that the Democrats are going to take it anyway, so why not let them fight it out, and let the best man win the primary? It will be good for the state. Or will it?

Ask John Daniello. “Yo, John, know any Shipleys?”

The war was bad then…….just as it is today……great dissatisfaction was prevalent with the status quo, because of some guy named NIxon (no relation to Tyler). A general malaise had fallen over the entire country. Democrats were sure to win in the off year election, especially in a solidly Democratic state such as Delaware.

Two contenders, both beloved favorites of the party, both with strong support from their respective contingents, thought it was their time to grab the ring. Neither candidate, nor their supporters, could fathom that the other side would feel just as strongly for their candidate. Each side would run clean positive campaigns. But only one group can win, right?

What happened? If you don’t remember that primary you are telling your age. Daniello got into a lobster fight for the 1970 congressional nomination with Samuel L. Shipley, later a Democratic state chairman. After some double-dealing and a fistfight between two rival supporters, Daniello won the party’s backing at a wild, wild convention, but Shipley forced their feud to a primary. Daniello won again, but there were so many hard feelings that his candidacy was doomed in the general election.

It took 12 years and a young Tom Carper to put the House Seat back into the Democratic column.

If Democrats cannot hold together like glue, and based on tonight’s story and the blogger’s reaction, it looks like they can’t, the upcoming primary will result in a Republican’s capture of the governorship for the first time in 16 years.

So what’s with John’s beef with bloggers? Daniello sees bloggers as being the wild cards stirring up the embers, just as those long haired radicals, Tom Carper and Ed Freel did in the seventies. Just like those young bucks, the bloggers run on their own agenda, fueled by the passion of the moment (and a couple of beers), and as we have all read in the comment sections, they often threaten to switch parties if such- and= such does not happen.

But what if our flagrant actions were to result in the postponement of progressiveness’s moving forward. What if the electorate, recoiling from the animosity expressed so recently in a September primary, on November makes the emotionally safe choice, instead of the rational “better-we -go- this- way” choice……….

We pay for our sins a long time.

More than anyone else, John Daniello knows the pitfalls that a divisive all state primary will create…………he knows that war, sometimes seems glamorous from afar, especially to both young bucks and wizened draft-deferring Republicans, but when its ugliness is experienced up close……war exposes the worst of the human capacity.

Do we want to go there? Remember Franklin’s admonishment: we must all hang together, for surely if we don’t, we will all hang separately. Still want to go there?

We do?……. Good, I was hoping someone would say that. For a second I was afraid that I had convinced you otherwise. So lets get the rumble going……
I’ll start: That John Carney is nothing more than an ostrich, full of feathers, head in the sand, lays a couple of big eggs, and is so damned ugly……or was it Markell I was supposed to say that about…….damn, I can’t remember…….I’ll get back to you later as soon as I figure out which side I’m on…..It was Markell, right, oops I mean Carney, Markell………its time for some chocolate………

The clock is ticking down……less than forty hours remain. Friends….that is only 2400 minutes! Or even worse, just 144,000 seconds. The countdown continues…..

Remember when the General Assembly was sworn in early in January, At that time the 1st of July seemed a long way off.

But in 2359 minutes, it will be here! January to June, let us see…..six months? we should be tidying up by now with just a few knick knacks left to finalize…..Right?

Let us see what is on the agenda’s of today’s General Assembly.

In the Senate: as of 12:00 (yesterday) only one thing: Tony De’Luca’s bill to have various organizations within the state, look for extra money and report back on 12/21/07 on what they find. I find this a little confusing. Why do we need to tie up the remaining 2398 minutes with a bill that does nothing but say “we need to do this”. On the surface, when you first hear it, it seems sound good. “I, Tony DeLuca, got tough with our bureaucrats and demanded they look for other ways to fund our government.” But isn’t that naturally what happens when you, your business, your government runs out of money? Your first priority becomes to find “where you can get more”……….Since there is no funding within the bill, and there is really nothing new in the bill, this bill, as it says from the outset, it is just a proclamation……..A commission, proposed within this bill, could just as easily be appointed by the governor to find revenue streams and report back.

If someone could get back to me on why this bill is important, I would like to hear. But in reading it, it sounds like ‘much ado about nothing.” One would think with only 2397 minutes left, we could find something far more worthwhile to debate……………..

On the house side more is going on. You have Senate Bill 36 which quietly sells government employees down the river. AFSCME may still be around for years, but as for saving pension plans or bargaining for better insurance, forget it. This bill would forever remove those items from the collective bargaining table:

Position classification, health care and other benefit programs established pursuant to Chapter 52 of Title 29, workers compensation, disability programs and pension programs shall not be deemed to be compensation for purposes of this section;

So if in the future if it becomes necessary for the state to economize by cutting benefits to minimize costs, the unions will be unable to protest it. This appears to be the first quiet, hidden attempt to cut state employee’s benefits. This Rubicon, if crossed, will forever diminish labor’s effective voice. Due to the lack of outcry, I doubt if most of them know……….or will know with only 2396 minutes left.

Next comes HB 177, the fusion bill. This would eliminate candidates who may have lost the primary, from running as a third party candidate in any general election aka Joe Lieberman or Connecticut. As Delaware Watch points out this bill would force organized labor to support just one of the two major parties. And you know they won’t support Republicans. Obviously this is one Democrat’s attempt to keep its rank and file from trickling away, aka the Berlin Wall. Thanks to the watchfulness of Dana this bill became public knowledge. But with only 2395 minutes left it had a good shot at going through.

Next comes HB 208, which says that a person has committed burglary as soon as they enter a building without permission. They do not have to steal anything, just be there. This would effectively cut down on the solid American tradition of checking on elderly neighbors, just to see if they might need medical attention. But most likely this issue will not be raised with just 2394 minutes left.

House Bill 251 prevents convicted criminals from becoming volunteer fireman. Perhaps this is ok, but I think there is no harm in letting Freeberry fight fires if she wants to. But these ramifications will go unnoticed with only 2393 minutes left.

The Senate Joint Resolution 3, organizes a leviathan task force to see what can be done with Wilmington’s schools. The makeup of this monstrous 33 member task force, will be big on names, but seriously short on talent. It will pass on the feeling of “lets do something nice for Wilmington” because no one will have time to look too hard at it with only 2392 minutes left.

House Concurrent Resolution 32 creates another task force, this time of 23 people, to look at new assessment possibilities instead of the current DSTP used in schools today. 3 of those will be on the above task force as well. (I hope they have daytimers). This report is due late May 2008, too late for serious action by the second half of this General Assembly. But it should generate plenty of controversy for the upcoming election. 2391 minutes and counting.

Senate Bill 119 seeks to insert this clause into the Delaware code: “(1) The amount to be raised by taxation shall not exceed 20.97 cents on each $100 value of real property in Sussex County for the tax year 2008, 22.23 cents for 2009, and 23.50 cents for 2010 and all years thereafter.” This is to fund Vocational Schools only. And with only 2390 minutes left, no one will even know……..

Senate Bill 123 further seeks to streamline and professionalize the educational process by controlling who those parents are on the advisory boards, which used to be siphoned from the Delaware Congress of Parents, but now are to be hand picked by the Secretary of Education.

Senate Bill 126 finally does some good. This bill alone should save the state billions over its lifetime if enacted. This bill returns the determination of fines back to the discretion of the judge, by eliminating the predetermined amounts, which unfortunately sent many people into our correctional system, who really did not need to be there. Let’s hope there is enough time, with only 2388 minutes left.

House bill 189 removes one more roadblock that stands in the way of remaking Sussex County into a sea of aluminum sided houses. This obsolete law, which on its surface makes sense to update, will, by its removal, allow many developments to go forward which have been so far held back. This bill still is stuck in committee. It may not see light in the next 2387 minutes left. Oops just passed the House.
HS 1 for HB146 seeks to mandate stateside recycling. Unlike most bills before the House this time, this one has the means to pay for itself. However constant vigilance and discipline need to be exercised to insure the recycling fund is not pilfered by Republicans whose modus operandi has always been: “see it, spend it” despite their political rhetoric to the contrary. Oh! Just got shot down…………..

House bill 241 seeks to make this change which will affect 5 employees of the state………all well known to every legislator.

Section 1. Amend §5201(b), Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding the following sentence at the end thereof:

“An Individual qualifying for a service pension under §5522(e) of this Title shall not be an ‘eligible pensioner’.”.

Section 2. Amend § 5501(d), Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by inserting therein a new paragraph to read as follows:

“(22) Service as a per diem employee with the House or Senate of this State.”.

Senate bill 133 seeks to mandate the separation of children from sex offenders. This is a good bill. Let’s us hope it gets a hearing with only 2384 minutes left.

HB 220 could with tongue- in- cheek, be called the John Atkins bill. Should he ever return to political notoriety at a whim, he could be hauled in and tested. This bill extends alcohol monitoring indefinitely instead of ending in one year. This could be a good thing for those repeat offenders, but more than likely, knowing how most legislators can put down several very stiff drinks in a very short span of time, it could also be used for intimidation and control once an arrest was made. But in their stupor, there is no time to consider this, with only 2383 minutes left.

House Bill 172 seeks to impose the monitoring of uninsured motorists driving upon the road. It tightens reporting requirements on those who get insurance to buy a car, then let it lapse with no payment. Within ten days the state will know. But, to those who like to hold public officials accountable for their actions, this warning is appropriate: you had better make sure your insurance gets paid on time…….

HB 240 seeks to clarify criminal offenses by switching many minor ones over to civil offenses where they belong. This bill is an interesting read for it includes a list of minor infractions that should be civil in nature. Check out for yourself how many times you were a criminal, and because you did not get caught, you never knew it? This bill is overdue. The cost savings from tying down courts, the AG’s office, and law enforcement, over the life of this bill, should save billions.

HB 212 widens the area sex offenders cannot be seen in to include parks, playgrounds, daycare centers.

SB 160, again by DeLuca, provides one more slap in the face specifically to those American workers who get HURT ON THE JOB. They are being asked to incur at least 15% of the medical costs that occurred from accidents while they were on the job. Currently, they receive medical attention at no cost to themselves for employer mandated accidents. Considering that most current Americans do not have enough money to pay for gas , electric, ARM mortgages, car insurance, or car payments,….. their answer to the question “Do you want to go to the hospital for that?” will turn into an emphatic “no,” a decision that may perhaps kill them a few months later from its complications, but save them from paying their part of the 4000 dollar medical bill, which if paid, would push them into bankruptcy. This is just one more example of how a leadership position, removes a thoughtful person away from reality.

Senate Bill 111 seeks to move one offense the other way, towards a felony. Violation of a Domestic violence protection order, will be upgraded from a Class A misdemeanor, to a Class F felony. Knowing how those to violate these orders, are under passionate emotional influences, and immune from normal rational thought , this bill falls into that feel-good status, (look, we did something) just as mandatory sentencing did, and not into effective control. The only effective difference will be the charge presented to the court, long after the women and children are dead.

House bill 266 attempts to standardize the definitions of abuse thought the state’s governmental system. However, based on their definition of “emotional abuse” that definition could be in a thesaurus under “marriage”.

SB150
will give those medical professionals who help out during emergencies, freedom from any liability for any action occurring as a result of their involvement, the same way state emergency responders are protected.

HB 207 seeks to give the same penalties for selling counterfeit drugs, as for the drugs themselves. No more getting off because the actual drug sold, acetaminophen, was not on the controlled substance list……… but was being sold as something that was……..

SB 35: Section 1. Amend Subsection 1014(a) of Title 26 of the Delaware Code by striking the figure “$0.000178” in the first sentence thereof and replacing it with the figure “$0.000356”. This extra money goes into the Green Energy fund at the residential electrical cost of .18 cents per household. This is to generate home grown energy projects on a person’s own property.

And most importantly, with ramifications greatly affecting all Delawareans, is the Dick Cathcart sponsored HB 245. This bill will change history by changing the method moist snuff is taxed within the state of Delaware.

UPDATE: JUST LAID ON SPEAKERS TABLE

Keeley HJR 7 establishes yet another task force, again devoid of funding, to look into statewide recycling. I guess she doesn’t have the necessary votes to pass HB 146.

Then there is the HB 250, the appropriations bill for 2008: all 256 pages of it. But no worries, mate, there still are 2377 minutes left. (9.28 minutes to read and absorb each page, that is if so choose not sleep.)

Hopefully they are taking amphetamines. Because if they decide to get a good night’s rest over the next couple of working days, they will squander 480 minutes of that time left. One must assume that they will sleep on the floor of the offices, because commuting times will bite into 120 more of those minutes. Unless they eat while working they will use up 120 minutes and estimated bathroom time should fall between 100 and 120 minutes. So if we are willing to forgive these personal indulgences (a whopping 820 minutes), they have only 1577 minutes left……a little over twenty six hours to do all of the above and the bond bill as well, which as of yet, has not arrived out of committee…

There is a lot for our legislators to absorb in the next several minutes. To make it even tougher, our lobbyist’s contingent insists… that our legislators follow the Dr. Pepper rule these last few days……..

Dr. Pepper rule? Don’t know that one? That is a classic. It stands for having two drinks by ten, two drinks by 2, and two drinks by 4. Is it any wonder that our citizens get the short end of the deal at the end of every legislative session?

For true insight on how democracy works, show up at legislative hall on Saturday night.It is free and open to the public…… And bring a camera phone.

Daddy, what do you know about the Electronic Revolution? Teacher says it took place early this century and that it changed a lot of how we do things today. I would like to know more, but teacher says I should ask you.

“She did, huh?”

“Well……. your grandpa and a couple of people at the same time just got mad at how things were being run in their small state and decided to use a new medium at the time to yell about it. As more and more people began checking into what exactly they were saying, more and more people came into agreement, and said, yeah, we feel that way two. Suddenly the entire population felt the same way as they did.”

“This made a several powerful people angry, because they had secret plans that they wanted to accomplish. And before, when no one was paying any attention, they could do a lot of bad things with other people’s money, like spend it on themselves, and no one would ever know. But after the Electronic Revolution, when everything they did became known by everyone else, they had no choice but to change their habits and not do those bad things anymore. Everybody was watching.”

“What bad things were they doing?”

“One of the worst, was they were not changing with the times. As people became more and more modern they wanted more things done. Like you want to do more now that you are 9, than you did when you were 3. You used to be happy walking around in a big circle…….remember that? Walking, running, walking? You did it all the time. But it is not so fun anymore, now is it?”

“So when someone wanted to change the law to make things better for everybody else, these people would stick it in a drawer and never open it again. That law would stay in that dark drawer with all the other bills people wanted passed, because by law, that was the end of the bill. And when they wanted to talk about how to spend our money, no one was allowed to listen in. It was done in secret, and we would find out too late, that our money was already spent by some friends of that man who put the bill in his drawer……”

“Teacher said something about newspaper’s? What were they?”

“Ahhh……newspapers…….that goes way back. Well, in those days believe it or not, many people did not have computers, and if they did, most of them did not know how to properly use them. So they got their information printed on big sheets of paper, which newspaper boys sold to make some money. But at that time the newspaper companies had became so preoccupied with getting more and more money that they stopped printing what people wanted to hear, and since the news was always uncovered first on a blog anyway, most people stopped buying the papers.”

“Why did they stop printing what people wanted to hear?”

“Well the newspapers became more concerned with presenting a certain point of view. Telling others only what they wanted them to believe. They were trying to print only good news about the bad people, and were not telling the public just how bad those people were……..”

“So how did people find out?”

“Well these few brave people, one of which was your grandfather, would talk to people who had something to say and then write it on their blog for everyone to see. Those people your grandfather would talk to had first gone to the newspapers, who would pretend to be interested, but in end, wouldn’t print the bad news for people to read, because they were paid lots of advertising dollars by those very candidates who put bills in drawers. So those people told the bloggers what they knew and the bloggers printed the truth for everyone to see.”

“When did it happen?”

It happened between 06 and 07, many years ago. Many people learned to blog for the 06 election. After it was over, they continued looking at the government officials and wrote about them nonstop.”

“Because of them, many changes took place in the state. Some of those bills that were buried in the drawer, were pulled out and became law. People were happy.”

“Why is it called the Electronic Revolution?”

“Because it changed things. Before, with just television, people learned how to control it and would only tell people what they wanted them to hear. If you had a question and wanted to find something out about a candidate, you couldn’t. You just had to listen to whatever he said and decide whether you liked him or not…….”

“During the electronic revolution, instead of only a few hundred reporters looking over your shoulder, and most of them only wrote follow up stories based on what one or two reporters who broke the story, you had anyone and everyone who knew how to search the internet, looking at everything you ever did. Because politicians knew that someone would one day find out the truth, they were more careful to look like they actually cared for their citizens.”

“Also, especially in our small state, the bloggers on opposite ends would actually post messages to each other, and eventually they realized that both sides wanted changes to take place that would allow the public to see what was going on.”

“So Dad. how can I sum it up for my report tomorrow? The electronic revolution did………?”

“How about this. The electronic revolution returned the power of government away from elected officials, and back to the people, for the people, giving them once again, a government of the people?