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Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Pondering over Steve’s return and the ramifications which came with it, (for example, I noticed the re-humanization of Dana Garrett), I was reminiscing why so many bloggers had fallen off the wagon…

Back in the glory days, there was a rather eclectic collection of men and women who put their thoughts down nightly or almost on a regular basis. A few are left today… But missing are Mike Matthews, Shirley Vandever, Tommywonk, Dave Burris, Dana Garrett, Duffy, Maria Evans, Joe M., Mat Marshall, …..

Most all of these posted their reasons for giving it up…. and they all sound the same. Tireless demands of time, no real feeling for posting anymore, realization that it was a lot of hoopla and little real substance.

And ironically the more successful you became the more time you felt you had to spend answering comments. And for the amount of time spent, the numbers of people actually reading them, were dwarfed by just the voting totals of Delaware alone.

But it is with Steve’s return that I think I finally was able to put my finger on just why the blog-world fell apart. It was because we had stopped becoming a community. It is rather interesting to read something someone posts that says: I think thus about this subject and here is why…. It is less interesting to have a blurb saying: “check this out” and then click a video and sit back waiting through the commercial….and then after watching, think: “that was a waste of time…”

Each person had a personality. Shirley tried portraying herself as a crusty curmudgeon but she was anything but…. Dave would bluster about, but then, without warning come through with brilliance. Mat, provided a odd twist from the enlightened eyes of a Cab Calloway student. Donviti was … well Donviti..and that’s a good thing. Hube could on the turn of a dime, surprise you by agreeing with what you said. Kilroy roasted Red Clay school district, no doubt causing them to cringe with his misspellings, and put New Castle’s school troubles on the map. Duffy always found the most eclectic random findings, and mainstreamed them for the rest of us. Nancy, with her sources, and emails, provided the bulletin board for all of us to snatch our next story from… Coupled with airplay on WVUD,WHYY, WMGD, Al Mascitti and Rick Jensen, actual influence over current events was projected… or at least it felt that way…

What we had was a community. And that peer group was who you wrote for. Sometimes you wrote evocative pieces just imagining Hube reading it and reddening his ears. Other times you could get Nancy’s gander up, just by praising Chris Coons. One out of this group, even considered running for Governor, and probably should have, considering the complete tanking of the campaign by that person who did run.

But mostly, we wrote for each other… If other’s wanted to read they were welcome. I think some who tried to fly too close to the sun, and write like they were the News Journal, got burnt out, and dropped by the wayside.

It is interesting to see the change in both Hube’s and Delaware Liberal’s format, comparing todays with yesteryears. Today, everything is bite sized. Before, we had the extended version.

The difference is like eating crackers off the table in back of the meeting room, or, breaking for dinner. Taking a break for dinner, is much more enjoyable.

All great moments pass. It is fact that we look back on them in admiration, that makes them great. So, I guess, though the characters are still alive, and a few still active, we cannot return to those times, long ago and far away.

I can only hope that a new generation, may someday read this, and happen to come across something like this, and find inspiration within themselves to do it again….

I think it is safe to say, we “pulled it off big time”. We really did something, which in it’s time was unheard of, and what we did, still has lasting ramifications rippling through our state government today…

I think most of the problems we dealt with, got fixed. Although no one can point to us and say we did it, that we influenced the changes, they certainly can’t deny. After all, each and every one of those problems haunted legislature for a quite a long, long time, and.. they are gone now. We exposed them for what they were…

With that said and done, … it’s pretty cool.

Rite AId is giving out a $25 coupon for every prescription transferred over from Walgreen’s Happy Harrys.

In 2002, Happy Harry’s announced they would stop serving Medicaid perscriptions because of Delaware’s reimbursement rate.

Here is what Alan Levin had to say.

“As a business based in Delaware, we were sensitive to the state’s current economic plight and current budget shortfall,” Levin said. “However, Delaware already had the lowest reimbursement rate in the four-state region, and … with this change, it will have the distinction of being the lowest in the nation.”

Continuing to serve the state’s Medicaid population under the new rates, he said, “brings us to a position where we will be filling prescriptions at a loss.”

Sound familiar?

They backed down and continued so successfully that Alan was able to sell his business to Walgreens and consider running for governor.

Operate at a loss?

I DON’T THINK SO….

and now we hear almost the exact same thing.

But, this time Levin is working with the Markell administration. Our inside man knows this is bullshit from personal experience and the Markell adminsitration knows that the state of Delaware can save this money without any harm coming to Happy Harry’s which is now Walgreens…

So to those still supporting Happy Harry’s, …. give it up.

They were wrong before. They are wrong now. Stop buying anything there and take your business to Rite Aid….

Remember how we were scrapping pennies to pay $4.25 dollars for a gallon of gasoline, and suddenly as the market crashed, we were paying $1.48 a gallon? Days later?

That is what happens when artificial financial devices prop up prices…

The same occurrance is occurring in pharmaceutical prices. The price of the prescriptions we pay for, are not fixed by supply and demand. They are set.

Conservatives not in the know, didn’t believe it with gasoline. They were proven wrong. We were paying excessive profits for oil that when it all came down to it. was cheap.

In the pharmaceutical business we have generic drugs, and brand name drugs. The generic drugs are run in a competitive market, and are cheaper… The brand name drug prices are set in a monopolistic environment, and are much higher…

When Medicare or Medicaid is concerned, it is our tax money that is brought into question. We are faced with moral decisions like this one: Is it better to fund one more teacher in a classroom, or to give even more profit above the profit already received, to a pharmaceutical manufacturer?

Obviously paying for a new teacher will be better for society as a whole. Giving more profit to a pharmaceutical company does nothing, nothing to improve the economy… and yet does detrimental harm by sucking our money from out of our system which could have been better used elsewhere.

That is what the battle of Happy Harry’s is about. That is why it needs your participation.

The issue is over brand name drugs which we all know are way overpriced. The state has dropped its reimbursement rate by 1.3%… That means instead of making 36% profit on a certain brand, they will make 34.7%.. That is profit. Profit is extra money that you can’t use…. So we have cut the extra money that they can’t use by little over one percent and they are refusing to refill all state perscriptions.

How many businesses charge 99 cents instead of a dollar for an item? That is all the difference we are discussing, and Walgreens, the owner of Happy Harry’s, is complaining about it.

Boo Hoo.

No other pharmaceutical outfit in Delaware is worried.

This kind of activity needs to be handled quickly by Delawarean consumers. It is our chance to bust the bubble of pharmaceutical prices just as gasoline dropped from $4.25 to $1.48.

Why should the state pay these robber barons?

It’s time to boycott Happy Harrys.

I have heard that the joint committee meeting involving Walgreen’s backing out of Delaware’s Medicaid reimbursement plan, was cancelled

The press conference may be cancelled as well. Apparently the knowledge recently leaked to the public explaining that the Walgreens plan was all about being able to sell high priced, over inflated, brand name medications instead of cheap, cost effective, and better quality generic brands, has changed the political waters from what were predicted by the lobbyists advising and leading this charge for the big pharmaceuticals, of which Walgreen’s was serving as their proxy.

The big pharmaceutical companies are attempting to stop the non- reimbursement movement by focusing on Delaware… If you haven’t already begun, start boycotting Happy Harry’s. It has become the most important tool for citizens to use in order to stop the gouging of our tax money from being wasted simply to increase large pharmaceutical companies.profits….

Delaware can legislate that generic drugs only will be reimbursed… or we can achieve the same results by boycotting Happy Harry’s and taking all of our business to Rite Aid…. Rite Aid has decided to work with the state. Walgreens chose to fight us.

Let’s put Happy Harry’s out of business… Of course, we’ll forgive them if they rescind…

But somehow, someone, somewhere spooked the political waters flowing through the General Assembly. …. with their spouting out of the real motives lurking deep behind Walgreen’s fake move….

I was puzzled.

Why did Steve Newton, Brian, and Shirley all three come out and march down Bloggers Avenue under the corporate banner of Happy Harry’s owner Walgreens? A fine parade it was (if you happen to love watching Libertarians march).

But why? Everyone else headed to another pharmacy to set up housekeeping there… Democrats, Republicans, Constitutionalists, Working Families, Blue Enigmas, all went shopping for another pharmacy, and yet the Libertarian contingent, that same select group which is usually noted for starting new movements of importance within this state, all went the opposite direction… Indeed, I was puzzled.

Brian provided the clue. Before his blog became the Mourning Constitution, it went by the name of Pondermints. Now whenever I think of Pondermints, I don’t think of peppermints. I don’t think of spearmints.. I think of those little soft pink candies that taste like wintergreen. Sort of like putting the ointment Ben Gay in your mouth…But not tasting like Ben Gay actually tastes..(oh, shit, this stuff burns), but tasting like Ben Gay… smells. One can also get the same flavor in a bag of Wintergreen lifesavers..

Now what has happened to explain this loyalty among Libertarians, is that genetically (it will be proven one day), the same gene that controls the amount of Libertarian thinking in ones soul, also controls one’s love for the flavor of Wintergreen.. I know. Whenever I happen to channel a Libertarian, wintergreen becomes my favorite flavor as well… If you bend like a Libertarian, that flavor seems so natural and good.

Of course, the alliteration between Walgreens and Wintergreen can certainly be considered similar. Put them side by side and we all see it. So if your receptors are set to become infatuated with Wintergreen, then it is quite possible that the “fight or flee” mechanism embedded in all of us since the dawn of time,… suddenly kicks ” fight” inside of them whenever someone pawns a Walgreens, and Libertarians, like fire ants, pour out in its defense..

It’s the only explanation that makes sense.

For otherwise how could they miss this juxtaposition embedded in the Walgreen’s press release?

Delaware is arbitrarily and unilaterally reducing the price it will pay for brand name medications”.

and two:

“simply by focusing on its generic dispensing rate at all pharmacies in the state, each percentage point improvement in the generic dispensing rate would save the state approximately $1.2 million annually.

Juxtaposing these two together, we see what is truly about. Walgreens wants us to keep their higher reimbursement rate on brand names, but cares little whether or not the state cuts reimbursement rates for those generics used by everyone.

Here is how that works to their advantage.

If the state pays completely, say 100%, for your medicine now, but next month it leaves a gap of $20 dollars on it, the state will pay out less money. But guess what: you will be paying out MORE money .. Twenty dollars more of your own money.. That is why Walgreens is fighting this…. They realize that if the state cuts the inflated reimbursement rate for their overpriced brand name medications, fewer people will buy those higher priced brand names.

Of course.

If your insurance is good enough to pick up the entire cost of your drug deal, so any out of pocket expense does not matter to you, you will probably most certainly opt for the most expensive advertised brand-name drug instead of the generic one that is just a potent… You will somehow convince yourself that because someone else is paying for it, that the more expensive drug is superior, and will therefore heal you faster.. Therefore when asked at the counter if you would like a generic substitute, you say “no”. And it is that “no” which costs the state considerable amounts of money.

Walgreen’s want to sell the highly inflated brand name, thereby gouging the state out of all its money, and not sell the generics which cost much less to the state taxpayers. This
April 1st change in reimbursement rates that Walgreens is opposed to, forces consumers to finally make a financial choice between choosing the cheaper generic, or a more expensive brand name drug that is far less effective than the generic one that is 80% cheaper….

Basically this very Walgreens press release shows us their argument is bullshit. They simply want to sell the state expensive drugs, and ignore the cheaper ones are being sold all the time, and are announcing the stoppage their program to force the state to back down.

Their solution for balancing our budget? Raise the cost of generic drugs across the board…

So they want all of us to pay more by making Generic drugs much more expensive, but then argue foul because the state will not fully reimburse expensive brand name drugs that are way far overpriced, when there is a much cheaper alternative available.

This has nothing to do with the state budget crises It is a simple power play by Walgreens. It is their use of a price gouging technique that should be effectively combated by every consumer by vowing to leave that chain of stores and never come back….

One cannot fault Libertarians for their love of pondermints… Even for us less enlightened, they are sometimes addictive…

I wish I could send my each Libertarian friends a bag of some to show I hold them no grudge. Unfortunately they are on their own… Perhaps you could fill in my place and if you see a Libertarian wandering the streets of your neighborhood, offer him a bag of those delicious candies they love so much.

Just remember to buy them at Rite Aid….

I’m calling on all readers to step up to the plate.

I have begun boycotting all Happy Harry’s. I’m using Rite- Aid.

I don’t see how anyone who loves Delaware, can stomach walking into any Happy Harry’s right now.

We are asking all to sacrifice. Many out there lost jobs and have no choice but to sacrifice. And we have a company that will not take a 2% reduction in the payment of medicaid benefits?

Well, FUCK THEM. FUCK THEM WHERE IT HURTS. They are getting 0 dollars of my money, and my money is going directly to their competitor…

Any legislator who dares walk in to a Happy Harry’s had better pray no one inside has a camera phone. Because their picture will be posted on this site for eternity.

Any political officials who dare do the same, had better think twice before venturing through those doors. We cannot afford to let some spineless or forgetful official represent our constituent’s interests.

I am calling on Jack Markell and Matt Denn to step up to the plate and issue a directive that NO STATE BUSINESS will be conducted through any Happy Harry’s establishment. All of that must now go to Rite Aid.

I’m calling upon John Kowalko and House Speaker Gilligan to demand that no business and request that no citizen of this great state, the first state of this nation to ratify the Constitution that made this awesome nation possible, walk through those doors.

I’m calling upon hero Karen Peterson, to demand that Walgreens rescind their order or that punitive legislation directed solely towards that one company, will be passed by both houses before this July 1st deadline…

I’m calling on Delaware’s Insurance Commissioner to show her critics that she indeed has spunk. I’m calling on KWS to prove her balls, to stand up to, organise, and carry this boycott forward from her bully pulpit, and not sit back and allow her critics to justify their accusations…

I’m calling on the Progressives of Delaware (PDD), to stand solidly behind those supporting this boycott. They have led on everything good for Delaware so far. They need to support this as well.

I’m calling on the mouthpieces of all three of Delaware’s political parties, to support the statewide boycott of Walgreen’s Happy Harry’s. For one, it needs to be effective, and two, the results need to be devastatingly severe to prevent any other uppity out of state corporation, from attempting similar processes.

(and as a personal FYI, if you own stock in Walgreen’s, dump it immediately, for it’s value will only go down, down, down, as word of this boycott leaks…. this is damned serious: kavips says: get out now).

Send Walgreen’s this message. You want to be petty. WELL FUCK YOU. We’re not wishy-washy Washington state. We’re far too serious and just to busy to play childish games. We have an 800 million deficit to take care of…

To step up the pressure, I am asking every citizen to consider picketing in front of every Walgreen’s owned Happy Harry’s to demand that they rescind their order.

I’m calling on all labor unions to likewise organise and set up pickets outside every Happy Harry’s in this state to demand that Walgreen’s rescind their policy which is unfair to all working people. Any company these days that is willing to blackball American citizens over a piddly 2%, deserves to go bankrupt as fast as possible. They deserve to go bankrupt. Deserve.

I ask Darlene Battle to organise all of ACORN and rapidly hand out petitions asking all of Delaware’s citizens to boycott every Happy Harry’s in this state and take their business elsewhere, Rite Aid is willing to work with this state. Give them your business!

So that’s what I’m asking. I want every Delawarean who still has some love for this state, to take their business elsewhere… Show them we will not back down. Rite Aid can take care of all our pharmaceutical and beauty needs. Screw Walgreen’s Happy Harry’s.

For every dollar spent in a Happy Harry’s from this point forward, funds the coffers of an enemy of the state of Delaware.. Every penny given to them, is a hundred dollars taken from us over time in our future…

So look Walgreens! If you want to play games, go ahead and play them. You are about to enter the marketing nightmare Delmarva Power lived in last year and about to suffer very similar consequences…

But you obviously didn’t research this state well before you came to your decision. For you left yourselves are far more open and vulnerable. Delmarva Power suffered severly even though most Delawareans did not have a choice; but with you, it’s two blocks down the road. We don’t have to give you money.

You should reconsider and fire the person accountable for the idea. Hell, it’s only 2%.. You’re paying more than twice that on the interest covering the financing you used to buy and expand the Happy Harry’s franchise… Let’s see how well you do with NO money coming in…

Delaware deserves better than anything Walgreen’s Happy Harry’s can offer. It’s time we stand together and prove it once again, that we are not called the “fighting Blue Hens” for nothing….