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In a very horrifying case involving student data, parents of children who were forced to give private information to an outside private entity in order to  comply with Common Core, now find, their data is up for sale,… to the highest bidder whomever that might be….

It appears that calm assurances of total privacy made by governors and Secretaries of Education, don’t stand up in bankruptcy court.  There,… assets are assets, and must be sold.  Student information, it appears is very valuable……

ConnectEDU filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, listing between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities against less than $10 million in assets, according to its petition. Last July, the company was awarded a grant worth nearly $500,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to build an innovative technology platform that would empower students to master Common Core standards

Over 20 million student records are at stake.  Although the bankrupt company ConnectEDU made assurances that its data would be destroyed in the event of a corporate takeover, it’s new owner does not agree… North Atlantic Capital, a Portland, Me.-based venture capital fund, is arguing that as in all bankruptcy sales, previous agreements are null and void….  The data is an asset and should now belong to the new owners… 

The FTC is weighing in on the side of protecting the children… It is arguing that every parent receive a letter and that if the parent checks deleting the data, the new owners will delete the data….   The new owners don’t want to do this…. Just think of 20 million stamps being licked in Boston.

Here is where it stands…

The current law, which has been in effect since Alexander Hamilton, says the data now goes to the new owner who can do with it, whatever he wishes….

The FTC is trying to use moral tactics bullying the investors into doing the right thing…

It could go either way.

All I’m saying here…. is we told you so… Once the genie gets out of the box…. there is no putting her back…..  Once your child’s data goes on to the internet, there is no getting it back.

(Red Clay and Wilmington Charter Schools paid $10,550 this year to ConnectEDU…. and $10,060 the previous year)   Those children’s data is now up for sale.

We told you so….

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Thats 30 people more than have died from an overdose of marijuana, EVER.

Republicans always hated the press.  The press tells the truth and truth is the anathema to Republican politics.

So when the Democrats after the War on Terror was over.  proposed to curtail some of the stringent powers which the Federal Government held over the press,  the Republicans naturally refused.  “We can’t have that”,  they screamed.  “National Security.”  What they were truly concerned about was their own political security.  A press that was not intimidated by them, could do their party harm…

The Democrats countered with this: … ‘but when it’s a Democratic President who is intimidating a Republican Press, you’ll come to your senses then”….

Lindsey Graham, the Republican icon from South Carolina, is proposing that we now pass the law he was previously against…. It protects  journalists from being investigated…. For you see, now Fox news was investigated, in his mind that changes things.

Our press, for better or worse, is a big part of the people’s hold over their government.  A press needs to be free to publish what it will, and let then public debate determine whether or not it has merit. For example. All three of these current scandals do not involve illegality. All three were accomplished completely within the law. It is because we have the press, we can know this.

At first one side publishes the accusations.  This person is guilty their headlines scream, and to a point when only one side is allowed to offer up arguments, it sort of does look like that person is guilty…  But then the other side dug up stuff too.  What they found were only the current accusations, with nothing substantial to back them.   Simple posturing, finger pointing, and nothing else.  No crimes were committed.  In fact, all the alleged activities were sanctioned by law.  If one didn’t do what one was accused of, one could have gone to jail for probably breaking the existing law…..

It is just that now that Republicans aren’t the ones in power, they don’t like the actual existing law, Even though it was them, who passed and enforced it back when they held the White House and both branches of Congress, even over the democrat’s vocal opposition..

So, now that the Democratic prediction has come true, Republicans are coming on board.

And if it protects the press and allows them to print the news, America ultimately in the end, prospers.  And that is a good thing….

So if you see a republican walking down the street, laugh hysterically at their stupidness, pettiness, and inability to think outside their box… Roll on the sidewalk clutching your sides, point at them the whole times… Get your friends to do the same…..

Then thank them, for finally coming to their senses, realizing Democrats were right all along,  and jumping on the bandwagon of Democratic policy, to do their part and help make America a much better place….

These charts were compiled by the St. Louis Federal Reserve. They have been the most active data collection agency to date, of economic data relative to different income levels…

These charts are most telling because they are all timelined with the Recessions and Depressions….

The Seven Charts That Show the Historical Effects of the Romney-Gingrich Policy…..

1. Unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression (with the exception of a brief blip in the early 1980s).

2. At the same time, corporate profits are at an all-time high, both in absolute dollars and as a share of the economy.

3. Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low.

4. Income and wealth inequality in the US economy is near an all-time high: The owners of the country’s assets (capital) are winning, everyone else (labor) is losing.

5. CEO pay and corporate profits have skyrocketed in the past 20 years, “production worker” pay has risen 4%.

6, After adjusting for inflation, average earnings haven’t increased in 50 years.

I cannot do better than the Atlantic‘s summation of all these moving parts…

It’s worth noting that the US has been in a similar situation before: At the end of the “Roaring ’20s,” just before the start of the Great Depression. (See some of the charts above).

It took the country 15-20 years to pull out of that slump and fix the imbalances. But by the mid-1950s, employment, corporate profits, wages, and inequality had all returned to more normal levels. And the country enjoyed a couple of decades of relatively well-balanced prosperity. But now, everything’s out of whack again.

Importantly, the inequality that has developed in the economy over the past couple of decades is not just a moral issue. It’s a practical one. It is, as sociologists might say, “de-stabilizing.” It leads directly to the sort of social unrest that we’re seeing right now.

SO, WHY IS NO ONE TAKING REPUBLICANS TO TASK FOR THE RESULTS THEY MADE, INSTEAD, THEY GET TREATED LIKE THEIR PHILOSOPHY COULD BE A VIABLE OPTION?

Isn’t “someone” bending over backwards, NOT to report “All The News That’s Fit To Print?”

First his argument, then my rebuttal. Most of you have already read the article by Warren Buffet: Stop Coddling the Super Rich.

Jeffery Miron rebuts that with Why Buffet Was Wrong

Encapsulated (read the whole in the link above), Miron says Buffet was wrong because

1) number of $uper-rich too few to make a deficit dent.
2) focusing on the $uper-rich fosters a counter-productive attitude towards material success;
3) focusing on the $uper-rich distracts us from the real problems: “policies that make no sense”;
4) the tax on capital gains needs to be zero prevent economic stalemate.
5) High taxes on income/capital gains, drive investment overseas.
6) Buffet errs by focusing on outcomes, not policies…

His closing jab…. In economics, as in sports, we should adopt good rules and insist that everyone play by them. Then we should stand back and applaud the winners.

Agreed: As in sports, we should adopt good rules and insist that everyone play by them……

But which rules?

Take football. Formulated in 1873 the original rules representatives from Yale, Princeton, and Rutgers met to discuss formulating rules for this new game of football. The new rules consisted of reducing the number of men on the field from fifteen to eleven. Adding a fourth down before surrendering the ball. Tackling below the waist was allowed. …..

Yet the first legal forward pass wasn’t attempted until 1906, 33 years later… after a change in rules. So when one discusses following the rules, the immediate question is, which rules are we going to go by?

When it comes to football, obviously not the purest approach, instead we go by those rules reached by a consensus by those who represent those on the field who will be playing… (Incidentally, the previous year’s (1905) season saw several on-field football deaths and serious injuries around the country. President Theodore Roosevelt (The Bull Moose) met with universities officials to find ways to make the game safer. That’s when rules were modified to allow passing.) One can see why they would want to change…..

So something like the forward pass which we take for granted, was added as an innovation 33 years after the game was formulated…

Whose rules is Miron talking about? Keynes? The Chicago School of Business? This Libertarian’s Take?

Here are the fallacies of Miron’s argument.

Are the number of the $uper-rich too few to make a difference? Miron takes Buffets 10% surcharge and multiplies it out giving an optimistic $73 billion off of the top 1% adjusted gross income of $727 billion.

Allow me to ask a question? Would it be easier to balance the budget and cut back on the deficit if we had this additional $73 billion, or if we didn’t?

That is a no-brainer. Is $73 billion everything that we need? No, it is not $4 Trillion.. It is a $73 billion that should have already been in our system had the Bush Tax Cuts not been extended…. It is one simple step towards that $4 Trillion.

Furthermore, just playing with averages, taking this $73 billion in taxes, that Warren Buffet says his group would feel good about giving, especially since 99% of the population are suffering so much,…. This top 1% would at the end of one year…(.assuming they paid Buffet’s average of 17%, plus the proposed 10% surcharge, ie 123 billion plus 73 billion) ….be responsible for $196 billion of America’s Revenue.

Leaving $531 billion of their aggregate income left over for private investment. If receiving a return of 3% on that money (I earned 40%), just sitting their money gains an additional profit of $16 billion the subsequent year, which will will in itself, yield the following year at (17% + 10%), an additional 4.3 billion in revenue once it is taxed…..

So exactly the amount the Bush Tax Cuts are costing us per year of income by continuing them for the top 1% using the figures compiled by the extinguished Mr. Miron, is…. $75 billion if their rate of return that year, was 3%.

This year alone, we will be borrowing $1,270 Billion just to fund our Federal Government Spending…. So how can someone realistically say ,,, NO NEW TAXES! and continue borrowing $1270 Billion at hopefully less than 3% ($38 Billion) when they have the $uper-rich lining up to cut them a check for $73 Billion? And all they need to be, is asked? Instantly our budget deficit drops slightly and we now only have to borrow $1195 Billion which costs us at 3%, $35 Billion… We just saved $3 Billion in interest a year!….

How can anyone say this is a bad plan? Especially when it impacts ONLY 236,833 taxpayers….a number slightly less then the number of citizens of the nation’s second smallest state (Delaware), who have a bachelor’s degree or higher (246,932)

So Take Down 1: Miron says Buffet is wrong because the $uper-rich can’t make up all the difference! Correct: but that doesn’t make Buffet wrong; it makes not raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% wrong, because that $75 billion that is a difference, is one that will be paid at some point by 99% of Americans making less than $1 million a year.

Next:

2) Focusing on the $uper-rich, fosters a counter-productive attitude towards material success.

No offense to the distinguished Mr.Miron, but this is simply a stab in the dark. It, believe it or not, is attempting of all things, to use… the discipline of psychology, as an economic instrument. Most psychologists, can’t tell me what psychology is… As a science, it is very imprecise. In fact, I remember back in the day, when psychology was called “the discipline without discipline.” because it was mostly made up. Those students who could make up theories on a dime, and find threads of reality to defend those theories, did well. Back then, it wasn’t real science. There was no way to invade the brain to test ones theories… (Seriously, everything we do, is phallic? That’s what that discipline’s founder Freud said…)

Miron’s own words: The way to promote a hard-working, entrepreneurial and innovative society is to celebrate great wealth so long as it has been earned by legitimate means. When this is not the case, policy should target the wrongdoing directly, not demonize everyone who hits it big. This is called: preaching to the choir; it is repeating back what those listening want to hear; it is not something based in reality.

I know where he is coming from. Anyone who’d stood in West Berlin, and looked out across East Berlin, knows that the economics used on West Berlin side, were the more preferable. Communism wiped out wealth, and eventually they had no bread. But they had to actually kill millions of citizens to reach that point.

Denmark is pretty cool place to live; it’s top tax rate is 51$. Norway is ranked the best place to live in the world: it has a 40% tax rate. Belgium is a marvelous place: taxed at 50%… So there is a balance that can be achieved. Higher taxes do not necessarily imply an East Berlin. In fact, these three countries, for its own citizens, are the equivalent of a cruise ship. You pay one price (taxes) that you can afford, and everything thereafter is free. Really, if there was something wrong with that concept, why would so many Americans take cruises?

With those two myths out of the way, let’s look at his statement stripped of bluster, and poke at the skeleton of fact…. A quick question rather illustrates the inanity of the remark…

Dear Reader: you who can barely pay your bills, if you could make $28 Billion a year, would you want to? (Oh, I forgot the part where you really make $56 billion but give $28 back to the government, but that doesn’t really affect your choice now, does it?) Are you really going to stick with your $30,000 assembly line job, because if you made $56 billion, the government would take 50%?

So that line, that celebrating wealth is a requirement to motivate an entrepreneurial society, I can buy only if confined in certain contexts. It certainly doesn’t mean that the out-paying by the top 1%, of 10% more of their income to the Federal Government is going to stop all entrepreneurial activity… Did every business close its door, when our local electric company jumped its rates 60% over the previous year? No? Not one? And those same businesses won’t shut down if taxes go up. Paying taxes is just an additional cost of business. Fortunately people will always worship money, and will always work to make it, irregardless of the amount they pay out in taxes, provided that the amount they do make, is still deemed worth their effort…

Remember, the top marginal rate in 1944 was 94%… Back then the economy was booming; an entire Liberty ship was being built in 17 days! Again, we had boom years during the 1950’s (top marginal rate 82%) and again in the 1960’s (70%) and again in the 1970’s (70%)…. Real History disputes that statement by the distinguished Mr. Miron and his implication that increasing taxes on the wealthy, cause a lack of effort and growth.

Take down number 2: Just because a person says values are important for entrepreneurship and a productive economic system, doesn’t mean they are. The Amish do quite well in their business endeavors, but I doubt anyone would believe they worship and celebrate wealth. Certainly taking 10% more from the top 1%, will not destroy America’s work ethic and cause people to stop trying to better their financial lot.

So next.

3) Focusing on the $uper-rich draws our focus away from the real problems: policies that don’t make sense. Most specifically, policies that make no sense in the first place because they inhibit economic growth and that simultaneously redistribute from low-income households to the middle and upper classes.

Examples he offers: The deductibility of home interest rates; the favorable tax treatment of employer-paid health insurance; numerous loopholes for favored industries; Excessive licensing requirements, permitting fees, restrictive examinations and other barriers to entry into medicine, law, plumbing, hair styling and many other professions; crony capitalism; the too big to fail doctrine.. all of which inhibit an entirely free market place from functioning as it theoretically could.

He argues; the home interest rates benefit upper income levels, because the poor continue to rent. Employer based health insurance gives the wealthier greater benefit than the poor, causes excessive use, raises the cost for all; loopholes for favored industries, interfere with economics because what you sell, is not as important as “who you know”.
Excessive permits restrict competition, raising prices for the privileged few. Being too big to fail props up bad companies and swells executives salaries.

He argues these policies are what shifts the money flow upward: benefiting those more who make more, and taking money from those who now make less…. For example, bailouts allow a few to receive great gains in times of good, and taxpayers to pay the costs in times that are bad… Obviously a big shift of money upward.

Back to his original statement: focusing on the rich draws our attention away from these real problems…

No it doesn’t… Take Down #3: Each of these factors is a piece of the puzzle. Just taxing the wealthy 1$ an additional 10% does not take attention off or away from these problems. All pieces of the puzzle need to be in place before the puzzle is deemed completed. And though some of those other items mentioned might theoretically cause an upward shift of money, it appears you failed to see that a majority of these items pump extra money into our economy at the bottom. That money flowing upward through the economy, is the best thing that can happen for the two quintiles of Americans resting on the bottom.

Fourth, he argues that capital gains needs to be taxed at zero. Reminds me of my Santa Clause wishes when I was tiny. Of course anyone with money, would “wish” that capital gains need to be untaxed… The inherent problem with that scenario, is that it benefits only those already endowed with wealth. Those others who can’t save, see no benefit aat all, from it…

Mr. Miron states: Economists agree broadly that an efficient tax system should avoid taxing income, dividends and capital gains to promote savings, investment and growth… But are they right? If so… why then does it never work?

When tax rates were extremely high, the economy boomed. Think about that. Of course it would. If you were about to be charged 94% of everything you made after expenses, ….. you would do everything within your power to raise your expenses higher so that you had little or no income to be taxed!… You might build another factory; you might add on to your business; you might increase your sales force figuring more salesmen, more sales possibilities; you might decide to give a raise or two or three, because better to have experience by your side, than have it walk because someone else was less stingy with their money that they had to spend or lose too. Great things happen when you raise the top marginal tax rate.. And they happen for this very reason: so the amount of tax paid to the entity demanding it, is as small as possible….

Does this decrease the amount corporations pay to the treasury? Yes, but, those new, additional people now working for that corporation, will be paying income taxes; all that money was unavailable before. And once those people who are now working, are buying, the sales tax revenues climb back into each state’s coffers.

But lets look at the opposite spectrum. What happens when capital gains actually go to zero? In a global economy, money does flee the country. And it should. Why should a business build a manufacturing plant here, when he can build overseas for 1/10 of what his cost would be if built domestically? Currently, the unfortunate truth is this: there is no reason to build here in the US, unless one is forced to by a higher tax rate.

After all, what’s the point in building a US factory with ones current profits, a factory that may lose money it’s first ten years (costing you to have opened it), only to barely break even in it’s tenth year?

When instead, one could put those profits into a high-growth foreign investment fund and make 40% this past year alone! When tax rates are low, or close to zero… what incentive is there to invest in the United States? Absolute zero.

Conversely, if one owns a manufacturing site overseas when tax rates go up, one is better off to close it down, move back here, and open a new plant in the US, where one can expand, then write-off their taxes to zero because of all those expansion expenses.

And that is the problem that occurs when one follows the Chicago Business School’s model in a global economy. It doesn’t keep money in the US. If Reagonomics had said,”we will cut taxes but only on that amount of physical capital you put inside this country, then it might have worked. Unfortunately when it passed, it didn’t make that specification.

But that is exactly what higher tax rates do. If you raise the corporate and top marginal tax rates, expansion quickly follows as all that profit (1.7 Trillion this past quarter) tries to find somewhere to go… For example, if you are a bank, you make loans. Capital suddenly becomes available again.

Take down number 4: Contrary to what economists say, historians are right when they point out that an economy was far more lively and productive, and investment in physical capital flourished, when tax rates were higher. As soon as taxes were cut, jobs were as well.

Buffet is scolded in this remark.

“Buffet asserts that taxing capital income has never deterred anyone from investing. Well, then he has never discussed the issue with me or many of my friends.”

Again, a shallow statement. Are you telling me that you really expect us to believe that those with money put it under their mattress, in a tree with a hole, or under their squeaky floorboard, because tax rates go up?

You really expect us to believe that a person is going to choose to settle for a loss, just because tax rates are going up, instead of settling for some solid wins, minus the amount taxed off the gains?

If so, your friends are fools.. No personal offense; it’s just that only fools would pursue such a policy. Granted, I’ve met some; they are out there.

But I highly agree with you on this point.

More importantly, taxing investment returns plays a huge role in what kinds of investments occur, and where, even if it has minor effects on the amounts..

It sure does. If you want economic growth, and put that 2nd quarter’s $1.7 Trillion dollars of profit back into the economy where it can grow jobs, then you’d better raise the rates on capital gains and the top marginal tax rate of the top 1% of income. Suddenly there is an incentive, one that has been missing since 2003, to build and expand your business here in America.

Take Down Number 5: high taxation of investment drives investment overseas…. History proves this wrong: high taxes keep businesses here. Low taxes send companies overseas because that is where the higher profit is. If you can keep more of your money by burying it back into your business, then that’s what you do. If you build overseas, and Uncle Sam insists that you pay 40$ of that profit over here to this fed, you soon will realize it is better off to have put that profit into an expansion facility here in the US, and make more money per day, per week, per year through increased volume (all of which comes to you), as opposed to investing and then turning 40% over to the IRS…

Take down #6: Buffet focuses on outcomes; not on policies.

In fact, most citizens of this country are tired of policies being argued back and forth. They want outcomes.

Outcomes are what it’s about. All proper focuses need to be on outcomes. The outcome is what is important. Whatever policy which can reach that desired outcome is desirable. Some policies may work at different time and different people. Some policies may not work at all. But focusing on the outcome is exactly what the American people are saying they want. Forget policies and philosophies.

Fix it please…Make the top 1% bear more of the burden, please? It worked so well before, make it work that well again, please?

So it comes down to deciding which set of rules we are to follow. A set of rules desired for by a very small select group of people, the top 1% of the wealthy? Or… rules that will benefit the other 99%…

Sometimes when the results don’t quite work out, changing the rules is deemed a good thing…….

It’s time to tax the wealthy. We’ve starved the economy long enough.

London is ablaze. Rioting.

Why?

Cuts to their budget, just like the ones we are about to do to ours….

The only reason Americans haven’t rioted so far, is because of Obama and the Democrats insistence that Federal money is being spent as part of the stimulus plan…

In Greece, Israel, and now London, Liverpool, and Birmingham, people have been without…

Which as I said above, is exactly where we soon will be…

Not to sound callous, but perhaps one must consider the British deserve it? Likewise so will we if we too follow through with austerity cuts as did all these countries that have been rioting…

In every case, austerity cuts are the instigator….

Now austerity cuts, are really a stupid way out of a budget mess.

When you get to where your expenses are greater than your revenue stream, there are two ways to solve it… One, lower expenses so they match the revenue stream; two, raise the revenue stream so it matches the expenses… Best if you do both…

Where they failed in these nations, was to tax the wealthiest to pay for these necessary programs… Just in the numbers alone it makes so much more sense if you have to piss off someone to piss of the one percent at the top,…. than piss of the 99 percent on the bottom…..

“Hey, lets give whatever the “one-percenter” asks for.. just give it to him, and what ever it is he wants, we will take it out of the little the 99% have to fight over on the bottom…. ”

So Britain did that, and now they’ve got 99% of the population mad enough to riot, and there is only 1% with any resolve to stop them…

On the other hand, if they had taxed the wealthiest one percent (just for the sake of illustration) everything he had…. he’d be pissed. But 99% percent of the population would have jobs, would buy cars again, pay rent on time, would go out to eat, would shop to refurnish their house… 99% of the population would have jobs…..

So when the one wealthy per center, strode into the poor sections of town, and began throwing firebombs at the 5 And 10 Cent Store… 99% of the populations would descend on him, and nip his riot in the bud… “Uhh, no, you ain’t doing that here…”

So from hell it appears this notion came from, that we have to cater to the top 1% …. no, we don’t; we should be catering to the 99% of those on the bottom…. What they need, and therefore, what we need, … is to raise taxes just a tiny bit, up to 40% on the top marginal rate… and re tax capital gains, up to 40%…

Pretty soon, everyone will be too busy working to even think about throwing a firebomb through a store front window…..

When The Whole Country is Going South, Look to the North, as In Northington
Photo Courtesy of Northington 08

It is hard to run a Congressional campaign… sometimes things go wrong…

But sometimes one does things right, and that in itself, is an achievement worth celebrating…

Jerry Northington has run a good campaign from his own bootstraps… Not only is it good, but running without the “backing” of the state’s primary neutral Democratic party, he has emerged as one who has the potential to ruin Republican Mike Castle’s dream of his last election…

And that, is what this years Delaware election is all about…

I don’t need to preach to the choir about how Mike Castle has voted the Republican line… I don’t need to preach to the choir about how Mike Castle has voted for the war of oil; I don’t need to preach to the choir about how having a Republican in the extreme minority of the House (it will be entirely Democratic) will affect our slice of federal money; I don’t need to preach to the choir about how having a Congressional Republican from Delaware, puts growth in this state on ice. No…. you all know that already.

You also know that the challenges we will face in the next four years, here at home, 200 miles away in Washington, and across the world, will require a new path to be taken. They will require new ideas to inspire. They will require smart people for a change…. smart enough to work out the details….

And what impressed me about Jerry… was his intelligence…

(Now don’t get all hot and bothered if you support another candidate…I’m refusing to make comparisons…You can discuss it among yourselves if you wish…)

Intelligence… that IS a relative term…..Let me explain….I (cough, cough) have been called on occasion, by misguided people, “intelligent” at times for some of the posts I have written here…. But… I would not expect Dave or Hube to EVER utter such a compliment (except perhaps at my funeral) …. for based on what they represent….(making the assumption they are intelligent too)… my ideas appear bunk… 🙂 But, without them, the blogosphere would fall like a thud, cracking our asses wide open like a seesaw that someone has jumped off too quickly. The world needs some type of balance. We need those guys for constructive dialog, just as they need us….

So real intelligence is the understanding that even though we put the best argument for OUR side up for debate, we NEED another side to debate against, in order to get what we need done…..

I know… it is a big concept to grasp….(come back to it later, will you?) The big guys get it…. I think Clinton got it mid term… I actually heard Newt a year ago in New Hampshire, and I think he got it too. Despite our distaste now for Carper, I know he gets it… and the reason Castle has won so big so many times, is that he gets it…

So let me tell you about Jerry….

First if you haven’t, you should check out the Congressional Primary Debate here.… You should, really… For we are talking about our strategy to navigate this state over the next ten years….

Usually since the beginning of this nation, an outgoing administration has set in place, plans that self perpetuate over several years before they become obsolete.. This administration, however, has been so preoccupied with day to day dilemmas, that they are leaving us with no future plan and an empty treasury starting January 20th……

We need to choose someone smart.

Why? For what happens in Washington, for those of you that do not know, is that a lobbyist shows up at your door with a pre-written bill, he wants you to sponsor it, you horse trade, and then you set your staff on bringing it to the floor… The bills are never read by Congressmen, maybe only by two staffers, and the rest is all hype. To really change Washington, we need smart people to say, “wait a second, why are you billing us for this…?” Dumb people, oh dear, will just rubber stamp…..

I am afraid to say that Mike Castle has become a rubber stamper,…. In his defense, if I had been there as long as he, as I got old I would probably evolve into the same… In the twilight years it just gets so hard to read reams of paper; the cocktail circuit is much more intriguing and fascinating…..

There comes a time, for an old general to retire…. His past victories though glorious, are meaningless if he leads us into one more battle that loses it all……..History is full of such generals who have stayed on a little bit too long…. The best way to preserve ones legacy, I think, is to walk away from it while it is still intact….

Jerry is tall enough to fill Mike Castle’s shoes… To be honest, he is the first Democratic candidate since Mike and Tom flipped, to do so…
In listening to Jerry, one gets the sense that we will do ok if he represents us… He is not harsh like the last candidate…. He is open and understands that he has been led down a miraculous path, one he could ever imagined would continue as far as it did…..

The only reason he is not yet considered a strong contender, is because so few people have gotten to know him… My sources and calculations show him winning on Tuesday… Soon more will learn how good a candidate he really is… We know he’s tough… His gentle toughness has got him this far… But what impressed me most, was that he is solidly balanced….He may not be the raving Liberal that some progressives want….

Unlike most previous candidates for that office, I sense he understands the need, that if America is to get better…. WE ALL HAVE TO GET BETTER AT THE SAME TIME… Conservatives too.

It’s time we had a smart person in Congress. And Jerry can, I believe, push a moderate form of Health Care that will cover all Americans, without busting the budget…. His focus will be on prevention… If a pill taken early costs $3 dollars and a surgery costs $30,000, preventive heath care makes sense…

My favorite line, and the one I think that pushed me to understand that this man has not only the smarts to represent Delaware, but the charm, confidence, and intelligence to make things happen ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, was this one:

“Ladies, and gentlemen, I’m a veterinarian… My medical experience…is that;… taking care of sick animals… We have known in veterinarian science, that the cheapest, most cost-effective way to treat a large population of animals…. is through preventative health care… We have known that for 100 years….. Now if we have known that, and we can accomplish it for animals….why in hell’s name,… can’t we come to an agreement, to do it for Human beings?”

Yeah, I think,……… he’s the one.

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

The most notable event that took place in our recent blogosphere, was the unceremonious “fuck you, assholes” sent by the Delaware House of Representatives (25 to 11) to those turds in the Senate, who are, and have been for too long,….. clogging up the plumbing of good government. By now, all should know that Charlie Copeland, Harris McDowell, Tony DeLuca, and Thurman Adams, are impersonating the Four Whoresmen (sp?) of the Apocalypse, responsible for keeping Delaware from becoming anything more modern than…………a feudal government.

Gloom and Doom opened the morning of the tenth. The News Journal and WDEL both took the fake, went chasing after a foul ball, and ran squarely into the right field fence. Anyone reading past the headlines would have instantly realized that something was wrong, There was nothing lurking in the background to back the headlines. It was a rumor gone wild. Someone had whispered that the wind farm was in mortal danger.

“What?” “The wind farm is in danger?” “Oh, No!”……..

But no report was out, said both news sources, but fortunately for us, four senators were squealing to the press about the issue.

What? Four Senators? Could it be?……Were we about to see the New Age reincarnation of the four Whoresmen of the Apocalypse? Was Armageddon just around the corner?

The News Journal named no names but gave background quotes from 4 sources…..Can we guess? “Desk Drawer” Adams? Harris McDowell? Tony DeLuca? Charlie Copeland? My………………………..how did you know? What amazing powers of prognostication you all possess! (That could, in part, be why you are bloggers).

So as we listened to Karen Petersen stammer from having been aroused too early in the morning (session went late the night before), things didn’t sound so good, Especially everywhere one turned, something was being said about the end of the windfarm……..

But those of us in the know, saw it as a concerted effort by four people. A quick look at the math, leaves 783,596 Delawareans still unaccounted for.

Any basketball team losing 4 to 783,596, would never be considered, even by its most ardent believers, as sitting on the edge of an upset!…………Some of us are wondering why those within the media, who should be immune to this type of fake out, were so gullibly sucked in……..

Tommywonk set them straight on Loudell’s Noontime broadcast, notable for being the first guest in recent memory, that Loudell has allowed to go over his time limit, during an interview without pulling the plug…….. Meanwhile, down south, Maria Evans was filtering through the News Journal story as well.

This flap had occurred just on the toes of Delmarva releasing their on shore prices for renewable wind energy. Or lets say they issues a perspective…..a rosy perspective…..an almost too rosy of a perspective to be taken with a grain of salt………This was quickly debunked by several of Delawares bloggers as purporting to buy wind energy from windmills whose building rights on the tops of mountains, were not even proposed?

And then, HCR 38 went to a vote. Tommy has the scoop on how it happened. as well as does John Kowalko. It came out………… in favor of Bluewater Wind by a vote 25 to 11. Almost all of the 11 came from Sussex County, and were Republican……..Looks like no help will be forthcoming from Dave for these notorious bashers of Dave Burris and backers of John Atkins. Sussex County is wind country. Don’t believe me? Just ask Lynn Bullock?

There is no doubt that Harris McDowell is tearing up all of the fabric of compromise within the second smallest state, in his all out scorched earth attempt to kick out Bluewater Wind.

Dana at Delaware Watch, sings the praise of one committed Legislator, intent on working for the people of his district, unlike his compatriots in the Senate, who have sold their people “out”. That’s the problem with keeping politicians in office too long. It is only inevitable that they eventually, they spoil like a ripe papaya

There has been a surge of spirit among those willing to take on the sad state of affairs known normally as Delaware Politics. Strange events are occurring. People are not willing to sit back and just take it anymore. Many will wonder where this spirit is coming from, and why it suddenly manifests itself among us……..But some of us know exactly from where it comes ….and will fight to keep that free spirit alive.

Delaware Politics.Net has absolutely nothing on Bluewater Wind this past week. Too occupied with “being bitter” and like the rest of us, they are nostalgic for 1999. When Republicans start fondly reminiscing about 8th year of a Democratic president, during the middle of the 8th year of a Republican one, you know something has broken down somewhere in their philosophy.

However all friendly kidding aside, they, along with JTTR, and Rick Jensen, are taking on the 10% cuts being forced upon our educational departments. This is an issue. Schools are being asked to give back money as well as every other state government entity. Dave asks if that is fair? Is it the best option on the table? Dana shows us where that money is going to. Take it from the schools and give it to………….Kilroy has a better answer…..Translate that feeling into action……Steve Newton takes the message directly to the source. Obviously our soon-to-be-retired Governor, having heard Allan Loudell who seems to be the only one mentioning the catastrophic food shortages, (that quite possibly has the potential to change our global political landscapes relatively soon), is worried that in her retirement, she will run out of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Stay tuned for a photochop of Minner enjoying her retirement dinner, with a twenty years stash stored behind her. Those of you who are parents, get yourselves ready for conversations such as this: “Dad,” “Yes, son,” “Why did you let the governor eat up all our school’s money?” If you are prepared, your answer should go like this……”Well, once upon a time…..It all started off when four people got together, and all of them had funny names. Their names were Tony “On The Take” DeLuca, Charlie “No Wind Here” Copeland, Harris “I love Delmarva” McDowell, and “Desk Drawer Adams”…………………” (more to come later)

From the Libertarian side of things, Shirley shows us that there are other people in this world who also have brains, balls, and the know-how to use both, other than Tyler Nixon. Figures this link would come from the “Live Free or Die” State. What is it with small states having the most vocal Libertarian contingents?

Thank heavens some one is finally getting wise.What a beautiful day

Bet it wasn’t a beautiful day for these people in Berks County, PA. (There is a highly recommended YouTube clip in this post’s comment section.) Obviously some laws are still subjective when it comes time to met out their punishments……

Alan Coffey lays the Republican hypocrisy right on the line with this post. Don’t forget, up until just last November, we were going to bomb them…….

Delaware Libertarian has a short post (Yes Duffy! It’s true……Check it out… 🙂 ) about how an above mentioned controversy will impact our local politics. Try as you may to simplify and reduce it further, it can’t be done……..

Along the same lines…..Duffy has some similar advice about finding simple solutions to big problems: always check the registry, and then, check it again………………..Duffy’s stories always make me feel human again; its nice to know I am not the only one upon who life is not always smiling….

On a more serious note, Duffy brings home just exactly what America is all about. Honor, Duty, and the willingness to sacrifice for a greater cause. Irregardless on how you feel about the war, you can feel nothing but pride after reading this tribute…….It infuriates me that back home, in Dover, we are forced to deal with those pursuing a narrow,specific, personal agenda, focused only on themselves and the accumulation of their own wealth, with not even a smidgen of responsibility to those who will suffer because of their actions.

What a huge difference between our military heroes, and those politicians who stay at home……………..

People ask me if I am worried…….I tell them no, I had an omen that in this week something great would happen……I was right. It did. Blue bug eyed aliens were discovered in and around Sussex County (must see picture). And after some trouble with a blood clot, Mahaffie is now in New Orleans, giving us a first hand look at the aftermath of Katrina. I was relieved to see the Cafe du Monde was still around with their awesome beignets. I hope he gets a chance to ferry over to Algiers, but his schedule may be a little too tight…….I’m still waiting for him to show up at the South Pole, to check out the accuracy of his GPS device. 🙂

And we need to keep Joe M. close to our hearts and in our prayers. Anytime one of us goes silent, I start to worry.

But a real event spinning off one of JTTR’s posts had be worried even more. Although I am fond of his analysis covering his taste in music, he did exceptionally well in reviewing this product. I was able to fight the power of suggestion for twenty one minutes before heading out to the nearest 24 hour location…………only to find, that because of the slowness of the economy, it had cut back its hours…….stranding me unfulfilled with JTTR‘s words echoing though my head….(By the way, his review is on target, and the purchase is worth the effort…) His mirror image, has finished his four years and like everyone who has traveled that path, looks backwards and says ………………..”ok”.

Matt Marshall is on TV. No not like water on Mars, this is the real thing. Those who follow DWA can also get a glimpse of the always articulate, and eloquent Dominique…..
But even bigger news it how Gene Reed, insurance commissioner gets his money……..and how the News Journal tried to hide it and cover it up……Just imagine the Pottersville this state would be in if it weren’t for us bloggers?

The Colossus of Rhodey points out that not all stupidity lies with our administration. The University of Delaware is getting ready for another national firestorm, especially during an election year, by putting this up for all to see….”The University of Delaware has revised a speech code that used to classify “[a]ny instance that is perceived by those involved as being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, or otherwise oppressive” as an emergency equal to fire, suicide attempts, and alcohol overdose.” Hmmm…a little hyperbole we have there, perhaps? Perhaps the University of Delaware’s officials should watch Battlestar Galactica to learn how one deals with those having different viewpoints, even if that person is yourself. I’m telling you. It’s the best show on television.

Finally full circle back to Bluewater Wind. Jason at Delaware Liberal shows us that as we squabble away valuable time arguing with, instead of simply bypassing one Harris McDowell, the rest of the world is moving forward with Offshore wind very quickly. We have just days before the announcement that the East Coast Hub of Offshore Wind development, will no longer be in Delaware. Because we (1st Senatoral District, Wilmington) elect stupid asses to our Legislature.

.

Because that……. is what we do.

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

There was very little mention of the Easter Holiday in the local blogosphere. Delaware Liberal had a comment about choosing ham or turkey. Delaware Politics (FSP) also had a brief note acknowledging it, and went on to analyse Rev. Wrights comments, Delaware Libertarian’s Brian had canine problems at Easter, and Delaware Way provided a pictorial version, and Elbert (What, no E?) showed us his version of his Sunrise Service. But for the most part, very little about Easter was written, showing the relative unimportance that Easter has in our blogo world when compared to those other more important days, such as Veteran’s Day.

Nancy has one post covering the Turkey, and so does Delaware Liberal, but the turkey seems to have taken a back seat this weekend to the ham. Delaware Liberal talks about the Ham here. And those at DelawarePolitics.net have been partaking too much of the ham it appears, at least if you look here, here, and here.
They seem to be overlooking the obvious.

It is obvious that in their feigned optimism, they overlook the this fact that Delaware Watch pulls off a BBC video clip. Certainly no one in the United States media would dare show something truthful. As Delaware Watch shows again, look what happens when truth tries to “come out” on our corporate owned broadcasting media….

And speaking of truth, on Easter we hit 4000. The Memorials were quick to go up all over the entire blogosphere. Delaware Liberal has a pictorial representation where each dead soldier is portrayed as a comma…..Merit Bound Alley in a post titled “So?” answers the ham’s comments with a touching pictorial representation of those who gave their lives after spending a majority of their lives here in our schools. Delaware Watch‘s take is here and Steve Newton succinctly says it well in the comment underneath: War is horrible when necessary; this is not necessary.

This was the week for milestones. Not only did we finally hit that figure in Iraq, but race relations themselves hit a milestone earlier this week with the “best speech ever.” Days later, discussion still swirled around what truly was a good speech; good enough it persuaded Richardson that a “once in a lifetime” candidate, was truly walking the ground among us…Delaware Liberal carried this piece of fallout…, David Anderson provides a deeper look at race than we are used to seeing on DelawarePolitics.net. Nancy responds with a Greenwald quote. And occurring simultaneously……the passport privacy issue. Delaware Watch points the finger at Clinton. The Colossus of Rhody points the finger back at Obama. After spending Easter analyzing the capacity for wind off of Cape Henlopen State Park, Tommywonk returns with a overall analysis of how the race speech played out. Duffy has the opposite tack, on how the Reverend Wright’s words themselves, have played out……

And don’t forget the Tibetans.

Even then, the local front was not quiet, not by a long-shot. Nancy tells us about the fight against Democrat Paul Clark and this developing buddies being waged by the Glasgow Historical Preservation group. Jack and John debated about education. DelawarePolitics.Net has their view. Dave tries to poke holes in Jack’s arguments, but he could use some lessons on calling out baloney from Steve Holmes’ twelve year old daughter. To echo Duffy from a few weeks back, maybe that blog, Delaware Libertarian, can learn something from her brevity.

Shirley has the history behind the world’s best protest symbol. And our favorite curmudgeon is on a tear about rotten pears, and other earmarks that suck up all our money. Libertarian illustrates an earmark about another crop.

And speaking of money, Delaware Libertarian riffs off Delaware Liberals piece and produces a piece of original thinking that leads to an idea on how we can produce a living wage without raising wages. As far as best original post of the week, this would be it.

Being a week of milestones, as I mentioned above……..one would almost expect this to happen. Of course he is in Hawaii, so will know nothing about us mentioning it here until he clicks on his link when he finally gets back…Jason 330 got back and here is his report. Tommywonk got back and here is his report. Matt Marshall at DWA was gone, came back, and now is gone again. Congratulations Matt. If you ever need to lift anything, you have my permission, go ahead…strike while the iron is hot. If you ever need a ghost writer, I know a twelve year old who can help…(She likes Markell, too.)

And if you happened to read through this entire piece, and click each link, and especially if you read them too, you would probably appreciate this most excellent awareness test coming from the Digital Federalist. Welcome back Alan. And those wanting to get in touch with their inner selves Duffy has a fun one for you, that just may open your eyes a little.

And finally a link (from Duffy) that puts our milestone week in proper perspective.

Next week (ie this Friday) Around the Horn will debut on Delaware Liberal, courtesy of Brian.