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Please Riot Here

When riots happen in Wilmington, which i’m sure they will, I hope they will learn from Ferguson Missouri’s mistake.

That mistake is to riot in your own neighborhood… That is just plain silly. Did we attack ourselves when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor? Or did we wage war with Japan?

Why people would loot and burn in their own neighborhood, is beyond me. I write this now, so when the opportunity to riot does occur, those with above average intelligence will have a plan to move the crowd out of their impoverished neighborhood, and instead riot in neighborhoods where the a) the loot is much better, and b) those responsible for the policy that has kept you down since Clinton left office, are directly affected. If you are going to riot, you should do in on the enemies home turf. Republican Country.

A riot has a purpose. It is to change things. To make things better by creating a situation that is worse than doing nothing, therefore something has to be done. Blacks didn’t protest on the back seat of the bus. They sat in the white section. Black students didn’t do their sit-in at the black counter. They did it at the white. Black students didn’t march into Tuskegee Institute with the National Guard. They marched into the all white University of Alabama. Martin Luther King didn’t do his marches within all black neighborhoods. He marched across the bridge into downtown white Selma….

So battling police in your own neighborhood, looting your own corner store, burning out yours and your neighbor’s houses, kind of double hurts you. Not only are you being oppressed by Republican Policies, but you are also setting those who support you, back even more….

So I’m writing this to tell you where to protest so it will do you some good.

It is called Westover Hills. There aren’t many people living there, but those that do are rich and very old and feeble. They couldn’t stop a crowd breaking into their house if they tried. Plus, when you loot, you could actually get something you could sell. Whose going to buy all the banana flavored Laffy Taffy you stole from the corner market? But you could easily swipe a Bose Stereo, or maybe find a safe with a couple of hundred thousand in it.

And instead of hurting mom and pop, or Uncle Joe and Aunt Alice, you would be hurting those whose money is directly responsible for you not having a good job, a good house, a good future. Those in Westover Hills vote Republican and it is Republicans who have allowed all the money to go to the top 1%… and none to you…

If you remember the Clinton Democratic years, it was different. You, or your mom and dad, did get richer every year and if that had only continued, you would have been doing rather well by now. But you got lazy and enough of you didn’t vote for Democrats in 2000 and now, we are stuck with the rich getting richer, and you and your neighbors, getting poorer…

So take the number 20 bus from 10th and Market side of Rodney Square and in 8 minutes and 15 stops later, you will be just north of the riot zone. Do your peaceful protests there, in the middle of the streets, and shout how Republicans have ruined everyone’s lives but those of themselves… When the riot police arrive with their single tank and tear gas, make them fire it at you so all those rich billionaires have to breath it too. Then when all hell breaks loose, break into the houses and rob yourselves silly. Don’t even worry. Unlike those corner stores, everything you take here is fully insured… Destroying their property, will in days, put all Delaware’s construction workers back to work. These guys are rich. They don’t dilly-dally around.

The main point is this? When you riot in your own neighborhoods which these Republicans never venture into, it only serves to reinforce their notion of you as a sub-human race. “Look at those pathetic people”, they will say over their Maker’s Mark and Hennessey, “they’re tearing up their own neighborhood. Maybe we should keep them doing it so they move and haul their sorry asses elsewhere.”

They will not be in any hurry to lift one finger… “make them suffer more” will be their outcry. But … if you do it in THEIR neighborhood, they will at least wonder why? In their asking around, what’s the real cause of these people rioting, they will come to the conclusion that they, with all the money, need to invest more, need to hire more, need to pay more, and that if they had previously invested more in our people, this riot would never have happened. That is your key… Getting them to call their out-of-pocket legislators and say, “raise my taxes; we can’t afford any more riots like these, even if we are insured. It’s the third time this year. I’m too tired for another round of tax free shopping!”…

You can even walk there. So forget the bus. Just send the coordinates out on social media, and anyone with a phone app can get there…. It is pointless for you to have to bear the cost and trauma of what THEY caused. It makes such great sense for them to bear that cost, and after doing so, quickly create the changes you need to pull yourselves out of poverty…

So pastors and neighborhood watch leaders. Start talking your kids to riot in Westover Hills, instead of your own street. Isn’t it about time, the real criminals get to feel the heat?

They are the ones who put you there…. Make THEM pay, not those who are poor like you. And pick up something nice for me while you are there… A nice oriental carpet would be cool… blue and white if you find one.



Tennessee just received a bill to eliminate Daylight Savings time and never change the clocks back or forth.  Then, it’s sole sponsor, amended it to make Daylight Saving permanent, never changing after this spring….. At least as written however, the bill keeps all of Tennessee on Standard Time forever.

This is exactly the perfect example of Republican self-centered thinking.

A. I thought of this; it is a good idea.

B. Because I thought of it, others who suffer are inconsequential.

C. Since only I matter, if it seems good to me, it must be good for the entire world..

D. I wonder why no one else was smart enough to ever think of it before. They aren’t geniuses like me..

E. Of course there will be glitches; someone else will just work around them… just tell someone to stop whining, and get to work and fix those glitches.

This bill has already made it through its first committee hearing with a recommendation of passage.  It would exempt Tennessee from daylights savings time.

Let’s look at the  repercussions.. Something Republicans have yet to do…  Currently we are in winter.  Tennessee has its eastern third in the Eastern Time Zone, and the remaining two-thirds is in Central Time.  One of Tennessee’s cities, Bristol, is half in Virginia, and half in Tennessee.  The state line runs right down their main street

Winter:  Let’s take 12 noon.   The time in Virginia is 12:00.  The time across the border  through the Eastern third is 12:00 noon. Cross into Central and the time falls back to 11:00.  Memphis is at 11:00.  Across the Mississippi, Arkansas is at 11:00.  Kentucky to the north is synchronous with Tennessee, and the states to the south are likewise synchronous to Tennessee.

Summer:  Tennessee stays on standard and the rest all change to Daylight Savings time….  The Eastern Seaboard and Virginia were at 12 and jump to 1:00 pm… Eastern Tennessee stays at 12:00 pm making the left side of Bristol’s main street one hour earlier than the right side of main street.  Church times, radio broadcast time, and television times would all have to be broadcast in two time zones…

One third of the way across Tennessee and the clock jumps back to 11 am, making a two hour difference between Nashville and the Eastern Seaboard, or on the same timezone as Southeastern Oregon…. The Eastern Kentucky to the north will be clocked at 1:00 pm,  Tennessee will be 12:00 pm across that border… Western Kentucky, also in the Central time zone, but on Daylight Savings, will be at 12:00… Across the border in Tennessee it will be 11:00 am…. The same scenario will take place on the Southern Border as well. Alabama and Mississippi will be one hour ahead of Tennessee.  To go north from northern Mississippi into southern Tennessee, you drop back an hour in time.  To go south, you jump forward an hour in time.

Memphis will be 11:00 as well…. But get this… when you go west across the bridge into Arkansas, you will have to jump ahead for the daylight time there will be 12:00.  For travelers that is rather mind boggling to go west and advance one’s clock an hour….

Just imagine the confusion for the Tennessee Titians…. “When are they playing again??? Darn, I missed the first hour of the game”

And since Memphis is the hub of Fed Ex. every package flies through there, imagine all the confusion of everyone tracking their package deliveries… “Oh wow, it will get here soon, what,  it went backwards in time. No wait, it just jumped ahead two hours?”

It opens up a lot of weird possibilities.  Flying from Richmond through Nashville to Little Rock, you  take off, drop back two hours, then jump ahead one hour.

There will be counties in Kentucky and Alabama bordering the time zones where if you go catty corner down one road you change 2 hours.  If you go down another, you change one hour..

And this will not be like changing from Philly to St. Louis, where the sun is actually later so 4 o’clock there seems like 4 o’clock back home… This will be like changing your watch and continuing your business.  Oh, its four am. Time to go to Tennessee.  Oh wow, the sun comes up at 3:00 am here…”

The point of this whole exercise, is not so much to make fun of Tennessee.  But to illustrate the reasoning that is indicative of all Republicans… It is how Mitt Romney thought.  John McCain thought.  Lindsey Graham thinks, ..Mitch McConnell thinks.  John Boehner thinks. Eric Cantor thinks. and of course in Tennessee,  with its Big Head Todd and the Monsters….

The idea that thinking an idea makes it brilliant. and ignoring the entire universe because of how ones idea fits into reality, never once even crossed ones little mind….. (Such as “lets shut down government and hold the debt ceiling hostage until they agree to abolish Obamacare.”)

The rest of America is tired of playing these games.  We are tired of being run by stupid little insects.  America’s middle class has lost so much money by having leaders who think really dumb things, and even think they believe in them too.  The middle class’s own lack of personal wealth, own shaky retirement, own job insecurity,  is due to idiots playing games with our lives, like this jerking off time, all the while thinking they are making great gains for civilization…

Simply because hey, it was their idea….It must be great.!!!

By now we should all be tired of playing their games.  I am. Aren’t you?.


As you all know, there are several Supreme Court decisions due this term regarding the ability of corporations or personal businesses to express their religiosity in defiance of the law of the land. One is Hobby Lobby which thinks it should not be required to practice something that is against their religion.  The second is today’s “stay” on whether Catholic Organizations have to dispense something their religion completely disavows;  birth control.

On one hand we will hear the drums of how religion is being imposed upon by the government.   On the other hand we will hear how those employed by these employers, have the right to choice just as do their bosses….

Let us look at the first plank:  how religion is being imposed upon by the government.   As is been oft repeated, the Constitution as originally written said rather little about the right to religion.  However, it IS in the Bill of Rights, which because they were a necessary addition added to get the Constitution garnering enough votes, one can loosely say, the original Constitution deals with religion…

And as is oft repeated with every controversy, the First Amendment states as follows:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.   This means that Congress cannot say:  “This year’s official religion will be Pentecostal.  All other religions are hereby abolished”.  This may sound far fetched to us, but was a real factor in the daily lives of the colonists before the nation was forged.   Quakers were ostracized by Episcopalians. Catholics were beset with punitive laws except in Maryland.  If you needed to go before the state or county courthouse, you had to be of that area’s official religion, before you could get heard…  True, dat.

The second part, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; is where the argument will be directed.  Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor, both have similar arguments which are as follows.

“WE  don’t believe sex should be had for enjoyment.  Our religion is anti-sex.  If we have to dispense or are required to pay for people to commit sex without the consequence of pregnancy or a viral AIDS infection, we are having our free exercise of religion being prohibited….”

More clearly put:  our religion demands that we prohibit sex for enjoyment wherever it “pops” up. If you stop us from prohibiting enjoyable sex, you are interfering with our religion.

In the matter of text, they have a point.  If their religion does indeed demand that they stop everyone from having enjoyable sex, then the government in stepping in to stop them from stopping some amazing sex, is depriving them of their religious rights.  So we should conceive that they have a textual point…..  Before the Obamacare, religion was not impinged.  Now it is.

The next step is to see if that point is relevant with the norms of today’s society.  As an extreme case, allowing a quirky religious sect to burn their babies alive because “it is called for by their religion”  would be a case where the harm done to a citizen of the United States of America against their will, would outweigh in society’s eyes the harm being done to the religiosity of those practicing such a barbarity.  Burning witches at a stake would suffice as an example as well.

There is obvious a gray area then where government must trample on religion and religion finds it must interfere with government.

We can use the extreme case above of burning witches.  One could say that happened in Delaware in 2010. (lol.  Our witch got burned bad.)   Here we have a case where one religion (the witch burning one) interferes with the other religion (the witch one).  When you have two opposite religions, the government has to look at other laws other than religion to determine policy.  In this case, murder.  Correct?

So the correct assessment is that since both religious issues cancel each other out, then the factor of murder by default becomes the deciding one.  The witch-burning religion is in the wrong by existing laws on the books (murder) and therefore it must stop its practice.  Was it’s bizarre form of religion impinged upon by government?  Absolutely.  And for good reason; it was murder.

So we now have precedence of  government making necessary impositions upon any religious practices that harm society. Yet there is still no imposition upon ones beliefs.  You can still “believe” that burning witches is your goal in life, but you just can’t carry it out.  It hurts other people.

So the defense of the law by the government must not focus on the rights of these religious petitioners.  but should solely focus on that harm which if allowed to go forward, that religion will impinge upon all those millions of people who are not in either sect, and who will suffer at the hands of any court decision favoring either sect’s quixotic religious preferences.

They have First Amendment rights too….   such as in having our Government abridging the freedom of speech…  

The courts have long upheld that “expression”  was the founding father’s meaning of “speech”.  Porn doesn’t move it’s lips but is a form of expression protected by the Supreme Court.  Just like that Pat Robertson of the 700 Club doesn’t move his lips, but is also considered a form of expression protected by the Supreme Court.  Art is expression.  Music is expression. Love is expression…

Likewise there are reasonable limits to the right to expression, again, determined by society’s norms.  Going nude in a public school is not good.  There are reasons that is against the law.  Playing music too loud on Newark’s Main Street is not good.  There are reasons that is against the law.  Graffiti in the Bank of America building, not good.  There are reasons that would be against the law.

So the argument made before the court will be two fold;  what is harmful or non harmful to each side, and what society’s norms will dictate, whether one or another is extreme when compared to the norm of society….

Therefore this becomes a moral question, not one of logic.  After all, both sides think logic is on their side.  And I think all will boil down to something said by the last Pope, Pope Benedict….

He stated something along the lines, “that people have to eat; and to eat, they have to work.”  If work is  abundant, perhaps one can leave one employer and go to another which they prefer.  But if work is scarce, they are bound to hang on to that job no matter what external factors line up to batter them.   If there is one job in town, and the boss halves the wages, one has to accept it.  If there is one job in town, and the boss demands sexual favors for one to keep it, one has to acquiesce because there is no other alternative.

So for every religious nun or Hobby Lobby business owner who wishes to buck the current law, there are those countless employees working for them who will get hurt if their employer gets any exception to the current law simply because their religion states “it” is against all enjoyable sex.

Those employees working for these bosses, can’t have enjoyable sex because of the religiosity of their employers…. ” I’m sorry Hon, but because I work for Hobby Lobby, we can’t do it for another 15 days… Just hold it inside, will you?”

Their expression, in the privacy of their home,  is impinged…  While yet…the religious owners expression in the privacy of THEIR homes, is not affected by one bit…

Since one side is negatively affected in private by the consequences of not having contraception reimbursed, and the other side is not, it seems imperative that a thoughtful, logical, non-judgmental court, would decide to protect those who are hurt, at the expense of those who are doing the hurting….

Remember:  it is still the insurance companies who are paying for all these sexual items; not the employers themselves;  there is no harm to the employers if this policy goes forward.  They are not in anyway contributing any harm to themselves. Just like if they burned witches….

Those they are affecting, do get harmed….  Not being allowed to enjoy sex because of your luck at being hired by one employer over another, surely trumps whether that employer feels slightly “miffed” that he is required to insure his employees and that insurance will allow them to enjoy the wonders of sex without getting pregnant or getting viral AIDS.

AIDS kills, like being burned at the stake.  Being allowed to stand around the fire going “tsk, tsk” should not become our nation’s definition of what “religion” is all about……


Pri-(e)-vate Eyes;  They Are Watching You, Watching You….  And today the big guns fired back…BOOM! BOOM!BOOM!

In a letter to Obama during a time of the year usually reserved for  letters to Santa,  the top heads of these eight IT companies, AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo demanded changes take place….

“This summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.”

The Following are a Bill of Rights for an Artificial Intelligence Age… The Bedrock of the next 200 years…..

  1. Limiting Governments’ Authority to Collect Users’ Information… Governments should limit surveillance to specific, known users for lawful purposes, and should not undertake bulk data collection of Internet communications
  2. Oversight  and AccountabilityReviewing courts should be independent and include an adversarial process, and governments should allow important rulings of law to be made public in a timely manner so that the courts are accountable to an informed citizenry.
  3. Transparency About Government Demands… Governments should allow companies to publish the number and nature of government demands for user information. In addition, governments should also promptly disclose this data publicly.
  4. Respecting the Free Flow of Information Governments should permit the transfer of data and should not inhibit access by companies or individuals to lawfully available information that is stored outside of the country.
  5. Avoiding Conflicts Among Governments,,, there should be a robust, principled, and transparent framework to govern lawful requests for data across jurisdictions, such as improved mutual legal assistance treaty — or “MLAT” — processes. Where the laws of one jurisdiction conflict with the laws of another, it is incumbent upon governments to work together to resolve the conflict.

If one remembers correctly, these large conglomerates were originally skeptical when the scope of Snowden’s announcements were first previewed.  However as continued information was released, they became very alarmed and harsh critics of the spying program.

Truth is:  today one cannot trust any US server… The Russian’s have a higher level of respectability; only the Chinese are less trusted than Americans when it comes to international commerce…

For this to change, and again establish America as the land of the free, (funny how that rings true, isn’t it),  oversight needs to be in place now.

Impartial and non-intelligence agency sources need to become the deciders over whether each spying incident should be sanctioned or forbidden.  Furthermore, reopening the possibility of  legally acquiring robust monetary damages for whenever such information is misused and creates harm, would indeed be the greatest safeguard in preventing such data mining to occur, ever again….

In all regards. the NSA has overstepped its bounds and all bulk acquisition of data should be made illegal and destroyed….

The cost is far more than any benefit would warrant.


Today's Tea Party

Image Courtesy of HannaBarbara Productions.

Delaware Liberal has running commentary here…… 


Tommywonk's First Blog Post

People arbitrarily have their milestones.  Some may be grateful when they cross a hundred, a thousand, a million.  But for me, I have chosen one of Delaware’s great bloggers who retired at post 1850 as my personal marker of achievement…

Tommywonk used dry humor, and a crisp mind to make his points.  We were involved in facing down the four horsemen of the Delaware Legislature running through 2007-2008 leading to the first offshore wind agreement made in the United States.  Unfortunately the Republican Depression wiped out a multitude of global hedge funds, and the backers of ours, were included.  Currently the rights to Blue Water Wind are owned by one of the biggest opponents of it when we first pushed it forward.  Dave Burris and Jason Scott, complimented OUR team of four horsemen….

Anyways, most readers will have no idea of what I’m talking about and that is how it should be.  Time marches on, and those who look too much backwards upon the past, run right into a tree.

But I was always far behind him in posts since he started out.  I marked my catching up to him here….

Today’s blogging is rather boring compared to what used to take place on these pages. It is as if everyone tries to spout off what they know, and of course, that makes for rather dull personalities. Today we are dry. We used to be wet. We did silly things back then. We laughed a lot. When one of us hit a vein, we all jumped in to open it wide. The News Journal lost editorial control over its state.

Oh Well, I see it took me 553 days to better him up 1000… Seems so much shorter, like it just happened yesterday… lol.

As Rebecca Young used to say…. “Onward.”


Last nights meeting dominated the talk show circuit this morning.   Even Nancy got on (lol)… Where was Liz?

Roughly there were 200 people there against the power plant, and 4  for.  How do we know this?  After one speaker who was a plant from the boilermaker union asked it be approved,  one Tea Party type standing in the back row, shouted “YEAH” and clapped with two hands over his head.  It was ridiculous, Really.  His spouse clapped loudly,  she was sitting in the back row, and one other person midway up the right, clapped once or twice tepidly.

it really made the Tea Party type look bad… He looked a little like Dr. Singleton formerly of the CRI, except he wore a facial hair arrangement that went out of style after the Civil War.  Of course he was wearing a green shirt with a tie.  K-mart deluxe. He should have just clapped and no one would have noticed how few supporters in Newark were behind the power plant.  But his loud explosion drew everyone’s attention to him, and not that he minded, he probably like Ted Cruz thought playing the brave unflinching forward marching dork was one that would enhance his reputation.

Like Ted Cruz, he was wrong.

The ratio was 200 to 4.  If any politician is supporting the building of the power plant on the grounds it creates jobs, if that ratio corresponds, he can count on 2% of the vote.

The bottom line is this needs to be Newark’s decision.  No one else’s.  Newark has to live with the consequences of their decision.  Do they want a power plant next to them for 75 years?   Any agreement made now with these owners, will be switched as soon as the first outside buyer takes over.  What is promised now, will not last, We saw with the Bain Capital revelations last year….

The noise will be constant,  The pollution will be never ending,  The toxic chemicals brought in, will have to go somewhere…

The accurate number of jobs that will be created will be 23.  Roughly 7 on three separate shifts.  Of course those out of state personnel hired to build the plant may buy a McDonald’s sandwich or two, but is this really worth all the negatives…. ?

I have my own opinion.  But those who live there, need to decide.  (Why should I decide for everyone?  WTF am I?)….

Whatever Newark itself decides, needs to stick.


An old American was reprocessing his old studies of Brezhnev-Soviet-Military thinking and brought back interesting points of discussion that directly relate to Syria.

The old Soviets had a classification for different types of wars:

“Many of these—such as the categorization of wars in ideological terms (including wars between imperialism and socialism, civil wars between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, wars between bourgeois states, national liberation wars)—now appear quaint and irrelevant for understanding today’s (and perhaps even yesterday’s) world.”

There was one other:  wars between the people and a regime of extreme reaction

“What they understood about these conflicts between a dictatorial regime and its opponents was that they were not conflicts between two parties, but among three”

“In wars between the people and a regime of extreme reaction…both communists and non-communists united to fight the dictatorship, with each group hoping later to establish its preferred form of government (dictatorship of the proletariat or republican democracy).

In these conflicts, once the dictator was overthrown, the Soviets knew they eventually had the upper hand because their supported group had outside support, whereas the moderates would be (abandoned by the United States who had been propping up the dictator) forced to fend for themselves.  With all factors being equal, the extra force could make a minority within the initial revolt, grab power after all was done.

Back then, it was America supporting the regimes of extreme reaction; the Soviets were seen the revolutionaries.  Today it is Russia and Iran, who support these dictatorial regimes, and moderates and a few islamists who are those engaged in making change.

The lesson taught was that once Assad falls, without America’s strong continued support of the moderates, the otherwise strong support of Saudi’s Sunnis behind the Islamists will tip the balance to their favor.  For as in the past, when moderates took on an American supported regime of extreme reaction, and the communists joined in the fight, it became viewed as part of the bipolar tug of war between the Communists and Capitalistic USA. Therefore even though the moderates usually far outnumbered the splinter cells of Communists, because the ending conflict was deemed a Soviet victory over the US, the communists had tremendous clout and enough support to take over power.

This certainly makes Syria clear.  In their battle against Assad, the Islamists supported by the Radical Sunni movements are few in number compared to the moderates who want a democratic republic after Assad leaves.

If Assad gets pushed out, the Islamists because of their unlimited funding and support can push themselves into power quickly, meanwhile the moderates sit around and try to figure out their next step.  In that vacuum the organized faction always wins.  The US then as now, could prevent this from happening by throwing its weight behind the moderates after the dictator is removed by being a counterbalancing force.

Our success in Western Europe after the Second World War by doing just that, never translated itself afterwards over to East Asia, Africa, or Central America.   Instead of immediately  inserting ourselves as a civilian presence when moderates and radicals toppled a regime, we sat on our hands, and only later would then send military hardware in our feeble attempt to contain the outbreak our own inaction created.

The lesson for the US is that we really need to not focus so much first on the war itself and then immediately extricate ourselves after the conflict when we are needed most, but we actually we need to use our debacle in Iraq as a self-taught lesson to create a civilian team we can move in at a moment’s notice with all the backing and assistance exhibited by the Marshall Plan, to quickly mend broken services, return to normalcy, and stifle the unrest that allows civil wars to fester and continue among both factions of winners long after the regime of extreme reaction is overthrown.

We need to focus on reacting immediately with ways to get a nation quickly back on its own feet as soon as the Dictator is disposed.

Our opponents of 40 years ago figured this out.  If we can learn this, that may be the most valuable legacy the Brezhnev era can ever pass on to us.


A bill was placed on the docket to change Delaware Law.  It was supposed to slip through the last minute when no one was watching.    That is Blevins SB 151 regarding the Treasury…   Since it was a surprise, a lot of hoopla as been thrown  in the fire by pundits reacting to the impact of first impressions.   In their defense that was all they had to go on…

Due to time constraints this investigation will take a series of small steps, probably spread across Delaware’s official blog circuit, with help from Starkey of the News Journal

But to back up the word coup in my title,  I first want to show you how the original language was written then show you how it looked with the changes after SB 151.  Of course this was stated as necessary to keep the state treasure in line, a ploy that El Som and Cassandra seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

First the original bill:

For those who follow along (you all are great) here is the passage number  Title 29; 2716(a)(2)


(1) Require as a condition to any deposit of such funds in any state or national bank or savings and loan institution that such deposits be continuously and fully secured by direct general obligations of or obligations the payment of the principal and interest on which are unconditionally guaranteed by the United States of America or other suitable obligations as determined by the Board;

(2) Require that the selection of financial institutions to provide banking and investment services pursuant to this section be conducted on an open and competitive basis; and

(3) Require that temporary clearing accounts as well as major disbursement accounts be established in a bank or banks whose principal office is located within the State.


That was the original piece of legislation.  Patty’s bill seeks to amend the section 2 of that piece, the embolden area.  From SB 151…


(2) Require that the selection of financial institutions to provide banking and investment services pursuant to this section be conducted on an open and competitive basis as defined by the Board.; It shall be the responsibility of the Board to approve the selection of each of the said financial institutions by a majority vote of the members of the Board. The Board, by a majority vote of its members, shall be responsible for setting the policy as to the allocation between short and long term investments and the allocation of funds to the respective financial institutions selected through the open and competitive process; and


Notice a “lot” of new language. In the synopsis this was sold as a clarification of the responsibilities of the board and the trimming of the responsibilities of the Treasurer. Instead, in what is now typical Markell modus of operandi, this if more of a surreptitious law-change than a clarification.

Previously the directive was this should be done in on an open and competitive basis. The previous directive specifically states this further down: 2716 (e)(1)


The investment of money belonging to the State shall be made by the State Treasurer in accordance with policies established by the Board and subject to the terms, conditions and other matters, including the designation of permissible investments relating to the investment of the money belonging to the State,


It is obvious to all that the existing law separates the Treasurer specifically out from all other board members when it comes to the investment of the state’s finances.

And that was really all existing code says in regards to the investment portfolio of the state’s money.

But, the new law, the one proposed by Blevins titled SB 151, makes HUGE changes. Now the board must make that decision. The board which according to Title 29; 2716(c)(4):


The Board shall meet as often as shall be necessary to properly discharge its duties; provided, however, that the Board shall meet at least 2 times annually; and provided further, that the State Treasurer or the Chairperson of the Board shall be authorized to call special meetings of the Board.


and 2716 (c)(2)


a quorum of 5 members shall be necessary to hold a meeting of the Board.


and 2716 (d)(5)


The use of teleconferencing or videoconferencing is authorized for use in conducting meetings of the Cash Management Policy Board.


Even now under existing policy only 3 people out of nine, if they time their conference-call correctly, can decide the future investment strategy of this state. Patty Blevin’s law would now give those three people (whomever they might be) unprecedented power and remove the current oversight of the only elected official responsible to the public.

“Coup” is the proper term for it.