Delaware Politics and Tidbits-Read It and Weep-The__7/23/14__Edition-

Ruth Briggs-King performs well in debate, Bodenweiser case to be re-tried. Yeah, let’s take a look at that I-495 bridge joke and how one contractor might have caused it all. More but be warned, snark involved.
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Ruth Briggs-King and Rappa Debate

The debate was sponsored by the Delaware Manufactured Homeowners Association and already I got an attitude.

First, there is no “yellow sided little rancher” housing association so right there you don’t have a community issue. Instead you have a group that exists to represent the TYPE of housing lived in.

Which seems odd to me. The bigger issue with the DMHA is that they want to demand that state government control the rates the landowners of the manufactured housing parks can charge, one step closer to socialism.

Instead of, say, teaching those buying manufactured housing that they might be entering in a many-yeared land-lease agreement that could be a problem as land rental rates increase-these folks would rather force the government to control rates charged by the nasty landowners.

King’s opponent-Rappa, brags that she’ll do a better job because she would be part of the majority party.

She’s got a lot of bravado, eh?

Imagine your argument that you are the best person for the job because THERE ARE MORE OF YOU!

Heh.
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Bodenweiser Case to Be Retried

Folks whatever you might think of Eric Bodenweiser, no human being should be subject to the torture this state is putting him through.

Bodenweiser case to be retried.

Yes, he was charged with doing something sexual with a “child”, this some 20+ years ago. This case has had quite a bit of publicity as the man was arrested on the day after his election, an action that looks suspicious right there.

Well they couldn’t arrest Eric BEFORE the election because his accuser, a felon living in the shadows in Florida, would not testify. After Bodenweiser got elected this felon gets a case of civil loyalty and decides he would testify.

Stinks….it just stinks. And don’t forget that the citizens in Bodenweiser’s district….SD19, ELECTED HIM. We have a vested interest in a man elected by the people suddenly arrested the day after his election.

Stinks.

The charges began at 128 and eventually the jury culled them down to ….get this…JUST ONE!

A third degree charge of “offensive touching”. And THAT resulted in a hung jury!

And they’re going to try this again?

I don’t see any victims coming out of the woodwork while all this was going on. We got one questionable guy who refused to testify until there was no choice or Eric got to keep his duly elected job.

Stinks, it all just stinks.

I will be investigating this and come back in the future.

Because if they do this to Eric Bodenweiser, they will do it to you.
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Ken Simpler Got Drunk In College

As I’ve written before in this column, this strange Republican primary race for state treasurer between two very good candidates is odd.

Understand I think everyone who wants to run should be allowed to run and if Sher Valenzuela is ambitious and wants to knock Ken Simpler out, have at it.

But it sure seems suspiciously antagonistic and now we got a college incident thrown in with accusations of hedge fund participation and a plan to open a casino-all against Simpler.

Simpler comes out against Valenzuela and while I love a good fight, I’d rather it be between a Democrat and a Republican.

“While my opponents will want to popularize the notion I was sentence to serve 30 days, the judge was making a statement. He knew he was making a statement. It was reversed, and I did community service and paid a $500 fine.”

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Check It Out

The Delaware Hall of Shame

Compiled by the Campaign for Liberty, it’s clever and a great resource.
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Let’s Talk About That Bridge on I-495

Oh my goodness isn’t this little gem growing all out of proportion?

Of course this fits the agenda for President Obama, who made a visit to our tilting bridge into a grand photo-op.

But the story is darker and more sinister, is it not?

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An investigation found that someone dumped 55 thousand tons of dirt under the bridge causing the piers to shift and crack. Keogh Contracting owns the dirt and is helping to haul it away, but that much dirt doesn’t just appear overnight. It has to be approved with government permits, especially since much of the dirt was piled high on state owned land.

Copeland is calling for a federal investigation. “DENREC is pointing at DELDOT, DELDOT is pointing at The City of Wilmington, the City of Wilmington is pointing at who knows what,” he says. “And at the end of the day there are so many hands there and there is no accountability.  The state of Delaware has no vested interest in finding that they were at fault.”

HERE

Seems there’s a contractor who was using that land around the base of that bridge to pile up dirt to sell. The land, coincidentally, was owned by the contractor’s father.

But it doesn’t stop there. Those contractors had permission to pile up that dirt. Where did the dirt come from? Who gave the permission?

More millions wasted and everybody keeps their job.
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What’s With This Book?

Banned book

The book title is “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and the Cape Henlopen school district has removed this book from its recommended summer reading list.

Which is all causing a bit of a flap in that this book is a tale of a lesbian teen sent to a camp to take all the gay-ness out of her.

This book is endorsed by a gay group known as “Afterellen.com” and I’m guessing the result is an unhappy lesbian girl mistreated and abused by her bible captors who try to make her normal.

Or something.

The reason this book was removed, per the school board, was its excessive profanity.

This whole issue is causing a bit of a flap and keeping eyes upon.
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Medical Examiner Fired-Steve Smyk Takes a Bow

Delaware has a new “Division of Forensic Science” with the old OCME now closed.

The state stands to lose a lot of cases due to the mishandling of forensic evidence, goodness, a Delaware official not doing his job, will wonders ever cease?

Mine State Rep. Steve Smyk got a little glory, this former Delaware State Trooper was a co-sponsor of SB 241.

State Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Lewes-Milton, was a co-sponsor of the bipartisan SB 241 and has been a leading critic of the performance of the OCME. A retired Delaware State Police Trooper, Rep. Smyk said in addition to its other shortcomings, the OCME had been largely unresponsive in supplying testimony required to prosecute drug cases. He said state officials need to be mindful of that necessity as they establish the Division of Forensic Science.

Kudos to Steve!
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Ending with a Shocking Revelation

Seems tolls have gone up along Route one and I learned that under Delaware state law, DelDOT has the authority to set toll rates.

So President Obama gets mad at Delaware for not taking his border children, calls up Deldot, has them raise the toll rate to $100 a trip.

Kind of like NJ’s Bill Christy and the bridge.

Do not think it can’t happen, giving all these unelected bureaucrats all this power.

I will say I tole ya so.

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I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Hoping to do an in depth analysis of this Bodenweiser decision .

Delaware Politics and Tidbits-Read It and Weep-The_7/22/14__Edition-

Mark Baker and Alex Pires want to do amazing things with Mark’s family’s farm. A public hearing at the Sussex county council meeting on this date and the “public” had some crazy thoughts on the matter. In this live Blog we discuss this and the “Public Integrity Commission”.

So I watch the Sussex county council as it is broadcast live over the Internet. The more interesting item on the agenda happened way late after the meeting, more on this later.

Some routine tidbits first, below the grants applied for on this date:

1. Lewes Public Library for the Annual Lewes Creative Writers’ Conference.
2. Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford for the Riverwalk “Freedom” Festival.
3. West Side New Beginnings for anti-bullying program.
4. Rehoboth Beach Film Society for the Film Festival.
5. Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation to restore historical tower.
6. Town of Millsboro for welcome signs.

The lady from the state Public Integrity Commission spoke before the council. As it would turn out, Delaware has such a thing and the notion gives me the creeps.

It reminds me of that Department of Anti-Vice type thing the Saudis have that left young girls to burn alive in a fire lest they be let out without head dress.

But I exaggerate.

On the surface the Public Integrity Commission but yon reader please note that to have gifts to public officials scrutinized, to check campaign contributions, to insure that Delaware employees aren’t “double-dipping” costs the state almost $200,000 a year for staff and office supplies.

I did not know this.

It would seem that each individual county can create its on integrity commission but the standards must be no less than the state’s.  Vance Phillips suggested that the Sussex county council take a review course on all of this so we shall see.  Sussex county, for now, is NOT going to create its own integrity commission but knowing the dishonesty of this state and how much they despise Sussex county, it should at least be considered.

Now about this big country-western festival that Alex Pires and Mark Baker want to build around the corner from me.

First, I know Mark Baker, once spent a wine and cheese dinner with him, his wife and children, at our church. Silly me I took the opportunity to query Mark about propane tank costs when here he is partnering with Pires to turn his farm into a big event arena. I know Alex Pires from….well who down here don’t know Alex Pires?

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As I understand it, an LLC operated by Mark Baker and Alex Pires seeks to obtain a conditional use permit for the Baker farm located :

ALL that certain tract, piece or parcel of land, lying and being situate in Indian River Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, and lying north of Road 302A (Avalon Road), westof Road 48 (Hollyville Road), south of Road 47 (Johnson Road), and east of Road 296 (Lawson Road)…

This conditional use of land seems to affect the community of Independence located along Route 5 and Avalon Woods with a Georgetown mailing address. This proposal would most definitely affect me as there was much discussion on the impact on Route 9. This farm is about eight miles from my community.

Not that I felt any need to protest this conditional use request because…well I think it’s a good idea.

What they want to do is convert that land into some sort of bucolic staging event for, at most eight, at least two, major multi-day festivals a bit like Firefly put on in Dover last year.

As Pires described it a country-western music weekend would begin on a Wednesday and end on a Monday. The same for a multi-day folk/rock music event. Pires wants to put on a few charity events on the property but will eschew these events if the council so deems.

 

The farm would have to be modified to accept campers and tents. Such as gravel roads, stages, bathrooms, sewer lines, and all the frou-frou of having many people in one spot. For the record the amount of land requested out of a 1,000+ acre plot is estimated to be at approximately 500 acres.

I was just in the community of Independence last week, pretty community with huge houses a handshake apart. For sure those residents don’t want this.

It was a public hearing and because I don’t have a life I sat and listened to it all. Goodness various members of the public warned about noise damage to beetles, gasoline generators violating time limits of motor operating time, ground water, sewer issues and the other changes to a farm required to property host an event this big.

According to Pires, such long weekends of certain music aficionados attract many families and the sorts of folks one wants to invite to their community.

One public commenter snorted that idea and asserted they would be drunken rabble rousers that will disturb those on Ethan Allen Drive.

I am open to the idea of doing this festival thing and feel a right to my input due to my closeness to the event locale. In fact, I’m disappointed that Sussex county lost punkin-chunkin.

Understanding that nobody dislikes and curses the tourists more than myself. But I love them, yes I do, as they keep my property taxes down.

I do have a certain amount of loyalty to Sussex county as the final home I will ever live in, as the locale that my granddaughter and only heir will grow up in, where my daughter recently moved from Baltimore.

Yes, I’d like Sussex county to succeed, to be vibrant and attractive like our beaches that attract money from other parts of the country right here into Sussex county.

Of course I don’t want to make my home and its surround into a “circus” (a term used by a lot of the public commenters).

As it was, mighty DELDOT testified before the council and seemed to think the ingress and egress would be doable so long as it oversees the logistics.

George Cole asked if the farm land is tax exempt (which it is) will this change that exemption. Which is a good question. Todd, county administrator, said he would get back to the council on that.

I really liked Alex Pires’ presentation. He graciously acquiesced to any concerns of the council. He expressed a passion for the event and the jobs and prosperity his events would bring.

The result was that public comment would remain open only for a DELDOT presentation that would be made next week.

We’re keeping an eye on this.

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I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Got some tidbits soon and an update and commentary on the Bodenweiser case. Is a new case really something Delaware should be spending its money on?

National Scene 7/21/14-Sunday Political Talk Shows-John Kerry, all the time with all the excuses.

But wait! Diane Feinstein weighs in with what could be the most wisdom shared on this day while foreign policy expert Carly Fiorina disagrees.

 

FOX NEWS SUNDAY (Fox Network): Secretary of State John Kerry; Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; and Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
MEET THE PRESS (NBC): Kerry; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
FACE THE NATION (CBS): Kerry; Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.; former U.S. special Mideast envoy Martin Indyk.
THIS WEEK (ABC): Kerry; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.
STATE OF THE UNION (CNN): Kerry; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Robert Turner of the main U.N. aid agency in Gaza.

Yes yon ladies and gems it was a fun-filled action-packed Sunday as John Kerry took to the airways everywhere.

And, to be fair, he didn’t do too bad.

New PictureHe did get in an on-air grouch fest with Fox’s Chris Wallace, this over what had been a live mike incident that had Kerry frothing.

On Fox’s show Kerry said a bunch of drunken Russians were handling the wreckage of the plane. Which is interesting as…why even mention the inebriation? Could Kerry be setting Putin up to blame the whole thing on too much vodka?

Ted Cruz spoke of the dangers of these children at the border, pooh-poohing President Obama’s request for more money. It’s not more money they need, Cruz asserted.

To end this crisis Obama needs to eliminate that executive order he made in 2011-yeah don’t believe that nonsense that President Bush did it-that grants amnesty to children allegedly trying to escape bad conditions.

On Meet the Press David Gregory declared this was now the worst time for Russian-American relations. Oh No said John Kerry-whose botox didn’t look too bad-Russia has been a great partner, helping out with Iran and everything.

Candy Crowley had a couple of interesting guests who, tada, revealed some intriguing truths. Diane Feinstein, California senator and member of the intelligence committee said that arming the Ukrainian rebels is not the solution. This battle will be settled diplomatically or by a cease fire.

Carly Fiorina, whose claim to fame is running Hewlett-Packard into the ground, shouts that America should be giving those Ukrainian rebels more than MRE’s.

The best dialogue of the day was between Wolf Blitzer and Bibi Netanyahu. Bibi, of course, is a master of words and he spared no details. Netanyahu went on about something called a “P5+1″, which has something to do with Iran and nuclear weapons. It would seem jolly ole Russia is knee deep in the Iran nonsense.

Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz represented the Republicans this past Sunday while John Kerry did sort of okay representing the current administration.

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I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Live blogging sussex county council tomorrow, lots of tidbits I’m still working on, some rumors and snark.

What Do They Know?

It is no secret that I am NOT in the Snowden is a traitor camp. I am not in the Snowden is a hero camp either. I am grateful that he broke the dam even if I do not approve of his methods. The man did something. I think he would have been more patriotic to get that information to Senator Rand Paul not let the world have access. If the information is too dangerous for the American government to have by your logic, how is it better to let tyrants around the world access it through wikileaks? The idea that I can trust terrorists, the Russians, the Chinese, and others who kill their own people with vital information that I don’t trust my own government having is bizarre. I think Snowden undid a lot of the good he accomplished by calling attention to secret programs by carelessly handing our information to others. Of course if the U. S. really wanted cared, we would have made a deal for him to return the info and allow him back. They want to get him more than they care about what he has so that means the real stuff is still safe with them. This was an embarrassment, nothing more.

What do they really know? If I knew, I would likely disappear not be writing on a popular blog. I am no threat. I promise, I know nothing. The servers storing this blog can not worry about it.

Why do I ask? The NSA is building a new data center in Utah that is 5 times the size of the Capitol and has a massive power plant. It appears to me that a million pages is nothing. Is this overseas intel? If it is, than why does the President hear about the airline crash from the Russian President first? Why do we seem surprised so often about overseas issues? Do we have data and not know how to analyze it? The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq is not a threat. Really? Is my phone call to my cousin in Germany one?

I don’t need to know what they know, but I do want to know that my elected representatives know and have oversight. To have confidence in our government, there must be limits on power. We must have checks and balances. If a government agency polices itself, eventually no one will police it.

The Loyal Opposition Asks, Who Has Been In Charge the last 5 and 1/2 Years?

President Obama and Governor Jack Markell stood at I-495 Thursday and panned the horrible state of the infrastructure in Delaware and around the nation. It is a terrible problem. I am glad they discovered it after 5 years. I say 5 because President Obama recognized it when he first came into office, he wanted to fund shovel ready projects to stimulate the economy. Most of the money in his stimulus went elsewhere and it seemed to drop off his list of top priorities.

At least President Obama can claim almost 3 years of an opposition House (though certainly arguably), but Governor Markell has a super majority in both houses. Of course the Governor will claim that if he got his gas tax hike this year, all would be well. It still begs the fact that he ignored the problem for 5 years, went for an unrealistic proposal that even his own party couldn’t buy in an all or nothing package. If he proposed a little toll increase and 2 cents at the pump, he may have gotten somewhere. His proposal was out of touch with Delawareans who are already hurting from his policies of higher electric rates thanks to Bloom, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and RGGI. A ten cent hike at the pump was never going to fly nor should it. Even worse, the money in the trust fund has been mismanaged to the benefit of high dollar Democrat donors. The I-495 bridge problem was not caught by state inspectors, it was a call in. Inspectors let the dirt and debris build up for years.

If Delaware’s infrastructure is in poor shape, take responsibility for it.

Israel Ready for Business

Israel’s fight against Hamas is our fight against Islamic extremists. May they succeed in the ground offensive to eliminate the tunnels of terror.

Well, anti-Zionists, you finally have an on topic thread. Just know that you were wrong yesterday, are today, and will be tomorrow, but thanks to the idea of the rule of law given us by the Jews, we have a legacy of freedom so have at it. Keep our rules.

President Obama’s Visit to Delaware turns into an International Embarrassment.

Today, might of been a tragedy or something. A plane went down. I only care if Americans are on board, my national security team is checking on that. Hundreds of foreigners die not a priority, Americans die it becomes a tragedy. The visit by President Obama to Delaware is being panned around the world for his opening remarks. Then he has a 32k a plate fundraiser in NYC. It is a pr disaster. No wonder some of people around the world dislike our government.

In fairness to him, he just found out and was reacting off the cuff. How the staff allows a President to walk out and not have a statement and not remind him to at least have a moment of silence before his prepared remarks is beyond reason. It shows me that he choose poorly. I have often said the President is poorly served by his staff. I have never been more sure than today.

” May have been a tragedy, we are seeing if Americans were on board that is my priority”. If the Ukrainians felt insecure before, they now know they should. The U. S. will not protect them. Our promises were only as good as the President who made them not his successor. I bet they wish they didn’t give up those nukes on the word of the U. S. No treaty, no real security.

As an American, I feel a little embarrassed today. Instead of my head held high, I feel like we showed a stunning lack of empathy. Sure we can’t do much in the Ukrainian situation, but some measure of concern will at least keep Russia wondering. If Russia feels like we couldn’t care less, we invite real problems. I have never felt that a President embarrassed us on the world state in a time of tragedy until now. Michelle Obama said years ago that for the first time in her adult lifetime she was proud to be an American with the election of her husband. Today, some of us feel a little embarrassed that we are so represented.

Our friend, MP Daniel Hannan may have said it best. He tweeted, “Listening to Obama’s statement on the airline tragedy, my mind went back to Reagan’s 31 years ago. How America’s leaders have shrunk.”

Afghans take note. At least get a deal that goes to the end of 2017

Delaware Politics and Tidbits-Read It and Weep-The__7/17/14__Edition-

Rob Arlett, a husband, a father, a military veteran, an active RD in the Sussex GOP, entrepreneur, and now, come the fall, a Sussex county councilman? He’s handsome, he’s fluid, he’s optimistic and he has a great smile. Come read what he has to say.

**I must note that Rob has informed me that his oldest son is 23 years old, not 25 as I stated.  Rob has been married to his wife for 25 years which may be the source of my confusion.

Arlett still looks too young to have a 23 year old son, I’m jus’ sayin’.

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The small teeny tiny problem I have with Rob Arlett has nothing to do with him.

New Picture (16)In fact, goodness, I met with him before the recent Sussex GOP meeting and was so impressed I wondered how he could NOT win. Further, I’d right along been impressed by Rob as he is generally bouncy and full of verve at the monthly GOP meetings. He always has an RD presentation and he had been serving (maybe he still is) as Chair of the fundraising committee and hey, money was raised.

If one had to say be on the lookout for an up and comer, it would be Rob Arlett.

The very first thing, as I’d listened to an interview between Arlett and Susan Monday, that crossed my mind that he had to be lying about having a son age 25. I thought Rob to be in his mid-30′s and after seeing him up closer, I still think he doesn’t look a day older than 40.

But he does have a son 25 years of age and a son 15 years of age and this fact is important, more on this later.

I told Rob that I’d listened to the entire interview on the link he sent me and, well, in broad principle I agreed with everything he said.

Arlett did not, as I expected, speak to allegations against his incumbent opponent, Vance Phillips . Rob did discuss the uncomfortable incident of having the Sussex GOP advisory board vote to not support Phillips due to an embarrassing civil litigation case due to be heard soon. Current councilman Vance Phillips was allegedly accused of rape and the victim’s affidavit somehow did get released to the public. Phillips has not, however, been arrested or faced any criminal charges by the Delaware DA Beau Biden.

Rob told me that it was a citizen who came forth to an RD and asked what the party was going to do about Phillips and his upcoming run. There were concerns that the Sussex county council already has a Democrat in the form of Joan Deaver. Democrat Bob Wheatly might be a powerful force against both a physically and perceptually damaged Vance Phillips.

It seemed to me a roundabout story for Rob to cast any blame for the Advisory Board’s decision to not endorse Vance in the upcoming election far away from him.

It’s no secret that this Blogger does not subscribe to the notion that incumbents are precious and should not be challenged. I say they ought to be able to present their case else they become Blue Blood Elites no longer answering to those who elected them.

Having a member of a Board that cast a vote against the fellow that member will run against strikes even me as an odd note.

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Arlett asserts that his decision to run for the Sussex county 5th councilmatic district was gradual and was not firm when he cast his vote not to endorse Phillips.

Rob is okay with the chicken plant trying to be put in the old Vlasic plant in what would be his council district.

He will continue to serve as RD in his 38th district while he runs for county council and he has the endorsement and encouragement of all his Eds.

Pleasing to my ears was Rob’s declaration that he does not trust Common Core and considers that such as education should be kept as close to home as possible in as many instances as possible.

Rob told me the oft-repeated mantra in Sussex county that the schools are dragging their feet in implementing Common Core and I know this to be true.

Still it’s not working as Rising Star Greg Lavelle voted to make the Common Core testing standard replace the current DCAS…one more giant step to Common Core.

“You’ll have to ask Lavelle about that,” Rob told me as I questioned why a Republican joined the Socialist Democrats. I was left knowing Arlett was no proponent of Common Core and his youngest son, indeed, would be subject to its mind-numbing horrors as would my granddaughter.

So what’s my tiny nag of a problem with Arlett? And understand he would not be my councilman.

George Cole endorses Rob.

I have issues with George Cole and I’m hoping that Rob, if elected, doesn’t feel an obligation to pay Cole back. Cole plucked my last nerve when he voted with Deaver for a local ordinance when a state law already existed.

I have great resentment for those who cavalierly pass laws when laws already exist and Rob Arlett, should you get elected, don’t forget your promise of low taxes and a new beginning.

Oh, and about those new beginnings you told Susan Monday about Rob, as a reason for a citizen to vote for you over, say, Vance….nobody on that council is more old hat than George Cole.

Join Rob, his family, and supporters on Tuesday, July 22 in Western Sussex County at the Laurel Park Gazebo beginning at 4PM then the caravan will proceed immediately after to Eastern Sussex County in Dagsboro at the Clayton Theatre at 5:30PM where he and his family will be joined by additional supporters.

Let the fun and excitement begin. Rob shall share how he plans on “Preserving the Past while Planning for the Future.”

I think Vance Phillips is going to have a heck of a race because Arlett does bring a breeze of youth, enthusiasm, good ideas and strong beliefs.

It should be interesting.

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I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : A bunch of tidbits with some real laughs as Chris Coons bends into a pretzel to save women from mean employers and struggles to fix the 495 bridge. More and even more but warning, lots of snark.

Delaware Politics and Tidbits-Read It and Weep-The_7.16.14___Edition-

Sussex county council moving forward to create a “low impact” park in the part of Sussex county no one ever goes to. How comes the Delaware Senate won’t intercept state tax refunds for Delawareans who didn’t pay their county taxes? Live Blogging the Sussex county meeting on 7.15.14

The Sussex county council meeting on 7.15.14 was intriguing indeed .

During the legislative update Godwin announced that the 2014 session of the Delaware legislature was done and they shall return next year to make more laws to oppress and distress us.

Godwin suggested that perhaps NEXT legislative session the council would be better served to go directly to the state Senate to get HB37 passed.

As I am to understand, this law would allow the state to intercept tax refund checks to Delawareans who owe back property taxes and other charges collected by the county.

It seems like such a simple thing but Godwin said that while it gets through the House the Senate can’t seem to get it passed.

Why? Hmmmmm. I’m thinking a lot of Newcastle citizens are in arrears for many taxes and the same so many get that income tax credit. It the counties go trying to collect monies due via state tax refunds a lot of folks wouldn’t get money they’ve come to count on.

Just a guess. You can believe the state of Delaware demands that feds intercept refunds to citizens who owe taxes to the state.

I’m jus’ sayin’.

Joan Deaver offered her compliments on the wonderful Delaware legislature and said we all should be grateful for them.

She really said this.

Folks I only got up to this Woodland Park Design Project. Giving me credit, I did some more research.

Yeah it’s a kind of boring subject but I’m about to make it interesting. The result of this bit of local legislative action are very telling about where Sussex county is heading.

New Picture (8)So the county had to buy a former golf course due to some dredging project and partnership with the state. Partnerships are big deals in all this and a real bore. But it’s as good a way to spread the wealth as any.

The stuff pulled up from the dredge were to be put on the first part of the parcel, leaving 20 acres at the front clear and ready to be made into a handy dandy low-impact park.

I’m not sure what a low-impact park is but I’m supposing a park that doesn’t affect the environment all that much.

Long discussion on how the dredged material was being spread all about that former golf course that the county owns. My eyes began to shut.

More talk about putting that stuff into the ocean. Eyes began to shift, ears opened. Words like…”DNREC is fine with this” and a question as why the Secretary of DNREC doesn’t approve this ocean waste method. I suspect something not quite Kosher here.

So a study was done to begin the process of creating a lovely low impact park on the western side of Seaford where nobody ever goes.

Discussions on possible dog parks, bike paths, bucolic trails that those at the beach will carve out a day to visit.

Well hey, it could happen.

One of the council members, I forget who but it had to be either Vance or Sam as they were the only two to oppose this, that no one’s going to drive ten miles to walk their dog.

Discussion on promised monies and grants and crap and again eyes grow heavy.

The go ahead was given on the council with a yea by Republicans Cole and Vincent, Democrat Deaver. Republicans Phillips and Wilson voted nay.

Well I guess the county council has to do something with those 20 acres. The county, as I am to learn, also owns the James Farm Ecological Reserve, a favorite of mine. But the Reserve is located near the coast, visited by tourists.

The council already paid for the study and what else could the site be?

Maybe a motion should have been made to sell the property to private entrepreneur?

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I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Got that interview with Rob Arlett coming up and guys I got tidbits up the wazoo, snark and gossip and a real verbal free-for-all. And don’t you think it’s time for a good tourist rant?

Delaware Politics and Tidbits-Read It and Weep-The__7/15/14 __Edition-

The Sussex Monthly GOP meeting of 7/14/14 proceeded by ice cream with Simpler while Valenzuela spoke during the meeting. Say what? What’s going on in that Delaware Treasurer Race?

So George Parish made Republican of the month and that’s intriguing. Also Orvin Strickler, who I interviewed on this Blog once, and a Mr. West I believe.

Beyond that most ordinary of announcements, the monthly meeting of the Sussex GOP was very odd.

I interviewed Rob Arlett that night, before the meeting as this was logistically the easiest way to do it. As it would turn out the Simpler people were having a meet and greet ice cream social type of affair so that was going on.

There were a few meeting details of interest. Chair John Rieley pleaded for somebody to run for the 14th RD against Schwartzkopf. This is always a problem, a subject I covered HERE. Rieley said Sussex GOP would drop the filing fee if someone would challenge Schwartzkopf, keep him from getting an easy slide to victory.

Also the Republican convention is coming up and I volunteer to live Blog it but I don’t want to buy tickets or anything. If the Sussex GOP wants to take me up on it, call me.

Finally, the Juust Soop people showed up! I am going to find out what that’s all about but they were mentioned in a recent Blog post HERE.

I didn’t speak to Dale Dunning but hope to get an interview with her soon.

The big event of the night was the talk given by Sher Valenzuela and it was a doozy. A good speech, do not misunderstand, but strange.

This whole race for the State Treasurer is just strange.

AsNew Picture (9) I said I met Ken Simpler during the ice cream social. I requested an interview, as is my wont. He said that David interviewed him and indeed, mine editor did.

Well David’s a guy for Pete’s sake. Everybody got to be interviewed by a sweet talking female for goodness sake.

So look for more on this matter on this Blog in the upcoming days and weeks.

I am also hoping to get an interview with Sher Valenzuela, also interviewed by my editor but again, time for a female point of view.

As to the meat of Sher’s talk to the Sussex GOP, it was quite blunt and on the mark.

She didn’t blink is what I’m saying here.

I note that Sher mentioned the name Charlie Copeland a couple of times. Understand that Copeland is the Chair of the Delaware Republican party so the mention of his name would not be odd.

Still my antennae rose. Sher seemed to go out of her way to New Picture (10)mention Copeland and one gets good at reading between the lines when one does this sort of thing.

Valenzuela went on to mention Ken’s “vulnerable” past and as she spoke it sounded ominous. Though I don’t know, suggesting higher taxes on a proposed new casino, even what the Simpler campaign calls a lie about him expanding casinos in Delaware, doesn’t sound all that bad.

But then we got child molesters and rapists down here in Sussex county so we’re pretty numb to more nuanced “crimes”.

I like Sher Valenzuela, at least as is my thoughts of her past runs and the things I’ve read.

But this sudden wresting of the spotlight from what I’d considered (and I know that this is just me, not yon, perhaps more knowledgeable readers) a very good candidate in the form of Ken Simpler.

He seems to have a good campaign team. He presents well and is affable. He is of a good age, has a good resume.

Well so does Sher but why the need to have two of our best clashing heads here?

I hope to get to the bottom of it but whatever the case, it’s part of the primary process and may the best “man” win.

Please come back to read my interviews, should both of these candidates agree to talk to me. I think it’s very important that yon ladies and gems check out Ken’s brochure on why Valenzuela’s charges are untrue or misleading.

Yeah, his campaign people got it out already and he makes a good case.

==============
I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Goodness Rob Arlett’s interview….he was great. Also, yes the Sussex county council live Blogged as a “low impact” park brings visions of unicorns and fairies to Joan Deaver’s head.

Attorney General Reneges on Bodenweiser Trial Decision

Update on the post:
After receiving verification that what is written here is true, the Attorney General’s office decided at the end of the business day on July 15th to retry the Bodenweiser case a second time.

The Attorney General’s office has reneged on announcing whether or not a decision on July 15th, to re-try or drop charges after a hung jury, ended the trial in a mistrial. The Attorney General’s office stated they were not obligated to tell him at that Point.
Judge Bradley has scheduled a conference on July 23rd to ascertain just what course of action the Attorney General’s office wants to pursue.

Prosecutor David Hume recently prosecuted another trial that ended in a hung jury, with the judge declaring it also a mistrial. In the recent trial Michael Rogers, charged with assault on a police officer, after being shot five times by DSP officer Mathew Morgan who entered the Rogers’ residence without a warrant and entered the victims bedroom and started a fight with him.
Officer Morgan fired nine rounds at Rogers in the living room of the residence after the fight was over, striking the victim five times, twice in the groin, while his 87 year-old mother was watching. Mathew Morgan has since been promoted to Corporal.
Officer Morgan was investigating an alleged hit-and-run, that claimed a license plate frame was cracked. Rogers was never charged with that alleged crime.

The Federalist Papers, And How They Suppliment The Constitution

The importance of the Federalist Papers becomes increasingly crucial as America pushes itself further from the exactness of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In Federalist Paper 51, Madison explains the principles in more detail. The Constitution as written by our Founding Fathers was intended to be maintained as it is written and not changed by the ambitions of powerful men.

James Madison initiates Federalist Paper 51 with this important question”

To what expedient then shall we finally resort for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments as laid down in the Constitution?

Madison addresses the importance of the independence and the executive magistrates and the judges also by stating:

It is equally evident that the members of each department should be as little dependent as possible on those of the others, for the emoluments annexed to their offices. Were the executive magistrate, or the judges, not independent of the legislature in this particular, their independence in every other would be merely nominal.

Madison speaks common sense by suggesting in this very important writing that Magistrates and Judges should not be appointed but elected and responsible to the people who elected them. Over a period of time, since the conception of our Constitution and Bill of rights, statuary law has slowly eroded the citizens constitutional rights. These laws are now enforced in Delaware by a powerful State Police Force that knows no controls nor has any limits. They police themselves, and are secretive in all that they do. There is no independent agency such as an office of Inspector General, that would be an elected position and have the authority to investigate the State Police.
Statutory Law has overruled Constitutional law in Delaware many times. The most blatant example being the elimination of the Delaware Sheriffs ability to enforce the law in the counties in which they reside respectively. This office is an elected Constitutional position in most every state in America and represents the enforcement of our citizens’ constitutional rights.
Madison also writes:

The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither, external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is no doubt the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

Madison does not stand alone in his caution of “ambitious men” attempting to thwart and dilute the Constitution. The Declaration clearly states”

That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and Happiness. Prudence indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

Reading the Federalist Papers and the Declaration of Independence would give most citizens grave concern, that the government has taken a sharp turn from deriving their right to govern from the consent of people and moving in a different direction of complete control without the consent of the people.
Safeguards have been put solidly in place by our Founding Fathers and we should not ignore them for the sake of convenience. We are the new generation and it is our turn to safeguard the rights and privileges that were earned by the blood of our ancestors.

“A nation can only be disgraced by the failure of its citizenry to take action in the face of tyranny”
Donald Raleigh Ayotte, August 2010

Chris Coons Refuses to Admit Administrative Dream Act Is The Problem

Senator Coons gives an intelligent and much more capable defense of the administration than they do. He gives a very good speech here, but as I shall explain, it is dead wrong in the parts where he tries a partisan defense.

Now that you have seen his speech, let’s dissect it. He says it is not the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill or the the administration’s executive order to defer deportations based upon the failed Dream Act. He gives reasons such as why then are not we being flooded with minors from Panama or Mexico? Why is the problem coming from 3 nations? He gives valid reasons why the 3 nations have special problems, but he ignores why they would travel all the way here in an expensive and dangerous journey. There has been a specific campaign to say that the Dream Act and Child Trafficking Acts will protect their children. In Mexico, they know it is not true because their children get sent back. 1/3 of the kids actually get accepted from these countries. So not only is the word on the street different, the situation in those countries is much more desperate. Then you add to the fact that a lot of the children don’t come back. They stay either by escaping custody. The kids may not know why, but their parents did.

Survey the kids themselves, and you get a picture. They are fleeing for their lives. They also picked here because they maybe able to stay. It is a terrible humanitarian crisis that demands our compassion. It is made worse by our President giving them false hope with his go it alone approach. According to surveys, both sides have a point therefore Senator Coons cannot dismiss the other side in such a cavalier manner.

But political rhetoric, particularly in Washington, has generally framed the situation in one of two ways: Republican lawmakers have largely argued that rumors of legal loopholes and lax U.S. policies are incentivizing hordes of illegal immigrants, which they say necessitates deterrence, legislative amendments, and increased border security; whereas many Democrats and immigrant rights advocates have emphasized a rise of drug-related and gang violence in Central America, and have called on the president to protect refugees.

“I think that the reason why there are two different narratives is because there are two different questions being asked,” said Caitlin Sanderson, executive director of Los Angeles-based Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project. “If you ask a child, ‘Did you hear about how in the United States, there is a possibility you can stay?’ then there is a good chance a lot of them will say yes. But if you ask, ‘Why did you leave in the first place,’ 80 to 85 percent of them will say, ‘It’s because I fear for my life.’

Senator Coons does not get to white wash the White House. He is an intelligent and capable man. I expect better.

His speech continues. He takes us down a journey that is thoughtful and substantive. Then he veers off the path and calls for the House to pass the Comprehensive Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill. Why? Without taking a side in that fight, the bill has no bearing on this issue (which calls into question how comprehensive it is). It is neither the cause nor the solution. Why make this silly call? There are real merits for wanting this bill passed, this crisis is not one of them. One can also make a very powerful case that this crisis shows the power of unintended consequences. I would not vote for any new 2000 page laws without a careful study of the consequences. I have real problems with the Senate passed bill already. It will have a negative impact on the middle class. It does the bidding of the tech firms and allows them to import cheap labor from overseas instead of retraining our people to meet the demand. In other words, people like me will have to compete with people brought in to take their jobs just like the laborers are doing now. It is not that Americans won’t take certain jobs, it is that they won’t take them at the price they want to pay them. Let’s just further destroy the middle class in rush to do something. The bill has potential to help and to harm which means it is not ready to pass in its current form. A lot of people know that which is why it is stalled so let’s seize a crisis to score political points. Once again, I expect better.

On immigration, I do not buy what my Senator is selling. I sincerely hope he goes back and studies this issue with an open mind and not a lawyer’s defense framework. It is much more complicated and deserves a real evaluation.

The National Scene 7.14.14-Israel Strikes Back, Children at our Borders

Rick Perry strikes again for President and he was impressive. Live sirens on the air amaze and surprise the listening audience. And what the hell is it with Jane Harman’s arms?

NOW IN THE NEWS-Sunday Political Talk Shows
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FOX NEWS SUNDAY (Fox Network): Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas; Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
MEET THE PRESS (NBC): Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif; Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas; former U.S. special Mideast envoy Martin Indyk.
FACE THE NATION (CBS): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Maen Rashid Areikat, the Palestinian envoy in Washington; Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas; Reps. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Lamar Smith, R-Texas.
THIS WEEK (ABC): Attorney General Eric Holder.
STATE OF THE UNION (CNN): Netanyahu; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Donna Edwards, D-Md., Aaron Schock, R-Ill., and Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas; Chris Cabrera, Border Patrol agent in Texas.

Come on, you gotta love the spin!

Guys yesterday’s political talk shows were astonishing. The news will be filled with the political items discussed but a couple of surprising things happened that could affect EVERYTHING.

Yeah I’ll summarize for yon reader as it’s what I do. Basically there were two major items discussed-the crazy nuts in the Gaza strip began lobbing rockets at Israel like that asshole Arafat used to do as Madam Albright and Hillary kissed the man, and Israel’s attempt to defend itself got a big boost by what happened directly on TV on Face the Nation.

Because yon ladies and gems might like more of a diplomatic summary of events as they occur but here you will get the truth, thank me very much.

Gather a bunch of loser-burgers, reprobates, camel dung nationless bunch of nomads and put them all in one little strip of land directly next to Israel. Boo hoo across the planet that it is the land of the lost peoples of Palestine, a country that NEVER existed, send the wonderful Arab spin machine that instantly turns lies into truths and boom, us nice Americans cluck and lament that the poor Palestinians lost their land and are only trying to live in peace.

Heh.

I write fiction I write fiction and I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Only it’s the losers in Palestine that are lobbing rockets at Israel and like Arafat before him, Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas oversees that absurdity. Only a couple of things are very different this time.

First, Israel has an “iron shield” defense which shoots down those missiles before they hit.

Second would be the incident that happened yesterday during Face the Nation. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking with the show’s host when suddenly a siren could be heard.

“Hear that?” Bibi asked. “It’s the public address that all is safe; all can come out of the shelters.”

Netanyahu went on to ask how we would like to live like this as Americans, to constantly have to run to shelters because some bunch of sons of camels decide it’s okay to launch rockets our way.

AND….the Palestinians, in the form of Hamas the terror organization, will keep their children and women around their nests of rocket launchers that the Israelis look heartless as they try to bomb those  terrorists out of existence.

The Ambassador from Israel was also on and GET THIS! He had AN APP that tells when incoming missiles are about to hit. He demonstrated it on TV and my jaw dropped in amazement. The APP tells where it’s about to hit and gives details of its trajectory.  It’s not Arafat’s Israel anymore Dorothy.

New PictureThere was also, of course, lots of talk about the borders and Candy Crowley had the most syncophantic blubberhead on, from mine own home state of Merryland, Donna Edwards.

I paraphrase: “President Obama needs the money he requested to help with these poor children. The Republicans are blocking this and the Republicans are blocking that and over here the Republicans are blocking over here. Obama is a wonderful man and the Republicans are mean. The Koch brothers are mean and Sarah Palin hates black people.”

God it was grueling.

Texas Governor Rick Perry was on quite a few shows and he did a great job. Perry’s been a national focus of late for his refusal to meet Obama at the airport for his ridiculous fundraiser.

Perry is putting himself out there as a contender for president and hey, go on and on about the horror of all this undocumented illegal immigration and the Republican base is bound to like you.

Besides, it was Perry who told us we were not compassionate if we didn’t want to grant amnesty to millions of people let in AFTER we’d already granted amnesty to millions back in the 80′s.

Not that the elected Blue Blood elite would lie to us or anything.
Finally a bit of snark. I don’t know how old Jane Harman is but she shows up WITH NO SLEEVES, bare arms out.

Now her arms look great, do not misunderstand. But she wants the world to know it as she’s not exactly a young woman.

I’m jus’ sayin’.

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I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Live Sussex Council blogging, new tidbits, the GOP Sussex meeting ALSO BLOGGED LIVE!  Also, an interview with Rob Arlett!  I’m psyched!

Carper Loves The Gas Tax

He wants a 12 cents a gallon increase over the next 3 years.

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/politics/2014/06/27/carper-proposes-gas-tax-increase/11445377/

I guess if Governor Markell can’t get us on the state level, Senator Carper will try at the federal level.

Immigrant Children to Be Settled in Delaware?

According to news reports:

“…the White House has reached out to other states asking if they had any “big facilities” suitable for housing large numbers of unaccompanied children. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, said his state was one of those approached, and told The Journal that the U.S. ‘should take a hard look at … what we can do to be sure that as these kids get sent back they’re going back to places that are going to be safer.’ ”

How will Delawareans react to this?

 

Common Core Hurts Special Needs Childern

Recently, learned that the Federal Department of Education was not happy because we excluded a high number of students from their accepted methods. We used accommodations because we wanted to see what special needs children actually know not how they test. Now as long as the law is being followed and the children’s IEP, there is nothing they can do about it. Delaware should tell them, leave us alone. We are testing to measure progress not to make your national stat sheet look nice. The General Assembly is geared to protecting the kids, but the administration seems as concerned about the opinion of Washington even if great care has been taken to ensure Federal rules are not violated.

According to Delaware Online.

Gov. Jack Markell’s office said in a statement that his administration will work with individual schools to try to limit the number of students exempted.

“We welcome the U.S. Department of Education’s new focus on participation rates and results because assessments are an important component of ensuring special-education students receive the educational services and opportunities they deserve,” the statement said. “Our focus is on excluding as few students as possible and improving outcomes while ensuring that all of our special-ed students are being assessed in a manner that allows their parents and teachers to set meaningful growth goals and effectively measure their progress.”

We should not welcome it. We should stand up for our children. From the same article.

Sen. Nicole Poore, the bill’s sponsor, says these students don’t get anything useful out of these tests, so it doesn’t make sense to put them through them.

“For my son, Nicholas, success is never going to be measured by what he gets on a test,” said Poore, D-New Castle. “What I want for him is to be able to interact with society.”

This made me think about why the new focus exists in the first place. Well I went through my files and I saw an article a reader sent me from The Atlantic by Katharine Beals Feb 21 2014, it explains that Common Core is part of the problem. Follow the link and read the article, but here are two excerpts.

In a recent discussion board thread on reading comprehension challenges in autism, a special-education teacher commented that her students can’t understand the assigned reading passages. “When I complained, I was told that I could add extra support, but not actually change the passages,” she wrote. “It is truly sad to see my students’ frustration.”
Why must this teacher’s students contend with passages that are too complex for them to understand? She attributes this inflexibility to the Common Core, new standards—created in 2009 by a group of education professionals, none of them K-12 classroom teachers or special-education experts—that have been adopted by 45 states. Though most Common Core goals are abstract and schematic, collectively they constitute a one-size fits-all approach that, in practice, has severely straightjacketed America’s special-needs students.

The teacher I quoted above—one of the many special-ed instructors I teach at the Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania
education schools—is hardly alone. She’s echoing the concerns of dozens of other special-education teachers I’ve spoken with, most of whom have already gotten the message from their supervisors or superiors that they must adhere to the standards and give all their students the designated grade-level assignments.

Precocious students, students with learning disabilities, precocious students with learning disabilities: How does the Common Core suit them?

the 2004 re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act required children with disabilities “to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum.” Increasingly, it’s the general curriculum for everyone. And now that this general curriculum is being shaped by dozens of grade-specific Common Core standards, and that teachers (including special-ed teachers) are increasingly expected to align each day’s lesson with one or more of these standards, there’s even less room for remediation or acceleration.
Restricting students to curricula beyond their cognitive capacities substantially lowers their achievement.
Indeed, those two words appear nowhere in the standards, not even in the one Common Core document that addresses this subject: a one-and-a-half-pager entitled “Application to Students with Disabilities.” It says that special-needs students should have the support services, individualized instruction, and assistive technology they need for the “the rigor and high expectations of the Common Core State Standards.” It does not, however, state what these services are or how they would work. As for curricular materials, they might be altered or presented “in multiple ways,” but only “within the framework of the Common Core.”
For students with sensory disabilities like deafness or blindness, the necessary accommodations—e.g., sign language interpreters or audio books—are obvious. Cognitive disabilities are different. Yet the document simply states:
Some students with the most significant cognitive disabilities will require substantial supports and accommodations to have meaningful access to certain standards.

In other words, Senator Poore, your son and others are being sacrificed in the new one size fits all regime. It is another reason to stop it.

The Politics of Anger Has Its Downside

Republicans battled hard to reign in spending. The deficit is now 1/3 of what it was at its height. It is still too large by far, 583 billion dollars, but compared to the trillion dollar deficits proposed by the administration as far as the eye could see, it is real progress. The deficit next year will be under 500 billion dollars for the first time in years.

In an election year with accusations that Congress is doing nothing, you think Congress, particularly Republicans in Congress would want to encourage the faithful. Since Republicans have taken over the House, the deficit has fallen around a trillion dollars a year. That is a difference worth keeping. They did it while fighting Democrats who would rather bankrupt the nation than govern it. The fought a Senate that wouldn’t even pass its own budget. They had to push the envelope on the debt ceiling and the shutdown, but they did it.

Successful leadership usually takes a moment to mark a milestone. So why are we not doing so? The consultants say anger is what we need. If people are mad they vote. There is truth to that, but the problem is that you burnout on anger eventually or it can become unpredictable. Ask Eric Cantor. He tried to ride a wave of anger to the top and ironically when he made a misstep, the anger turned on him.

I am not a consultant so I will celebrate decent news. I can’t consider a 583 Billion dollar debt addition good news, but at least we are on the right track.

An interview with Ken Simpler: Candidate for State Treasurer

Ken Simpler, Jr. has been laying down the ground work for his run for State Treasurer in Delaware for the last 18 months. He has been canvassing the state to build support. His campaign was thrown a major curveball with a strong primary opponent. We wanted to share with readers his reasons for running, his qualifications, and his response to his primary opponent. My questions are in italics and his responses are in normal type. (My proofreader is unavailable so I reserve the right to make minor edits upon Mr. Simpler’s request or upon finding an error.)

Why are you running?

When I began exploring this race, I began with a premise that a two billion dollar portfolio should be managed by someone with experience managing a billion dollar portfolio. What really got me agitated was when Chip Flowers lost us money by pushing us into a long term position.. Companies with good financial practices succeed. Companies with poor financial practices fail. The state has poor financial practices. I am afraid that the emperor has no clothes.

At the end of the day State Treasurer is a finance job at its core and at the end of the day it is held by someone with no finance experience. I am the only one running with experience as an asset manager and a CFO. Chip Flowers doesn’t have the experience to be successful, Sean Barney has even less experience—in fact, I am not sure why he is running for the office, and Sher has admirable business experience but nothing approaching the job of running a billion dollar portfolio.

People want to turn the job into everything but what it is, managing the state’s cash disbursements and those employees in a professional manner and managing a 2 billion dollar portfolio of your money.

What are your qualifications?

I have a 20 year career in finance as either an asset manager or chief finance officer. I managed people in 5 different offices on 3 different continents. We had a very good run of investment performance while I was there [Citadel]. I have managed over billion dollars in assets.
Check out my website for more details.

Delaware Politics did and here is what we found.

Simpler is a Princeton graduate who has two graduate degrees from the University of Chicago one an MBA and the other J.D. and is currently working on his Master’s in Public Administration from University of Delaware.
He is currently an owner and the Chief Financial Officer of Seaboard Hotels. Seaboard develops and manages hotel and retail properties in Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and Nags Head, North Carolina.
• Previously held the position of Managing Director at Citadel, LLC, a global investment fund. Ken oversaw a billion dollar portfolio at Citadel and managed personnel in Chicago, San Francisco, New York/Greenwich, London and Tokyo. Among other duties, Ken served on Citadel’s firm-wide investment committee.
• Began his career as a corporate attorney at Kirkland & Ellis, a national law firm. At K&E, Ken worked primarily on private acquisitions and capital raising transactions

Your primary opponent expresses concern about your pass brush with the casino industry, would you like to address that?

Yes, as you recall there was an effort to give a 4th casino license in Millsboro are with no competitive bidding. We put a proposal forward that would allow a competitive process where the best proposal wins. We believed that a new casino will only succeed if it is near a destination point. If it is something new. We proposed that it be built on state land and have it managed by a private entity. We had experience managing it. If you go back and look at the record we proposed a much more compelling economic proposal that was better for the state of Delaware. We predicted that casino revenue would decline based upon increasing competition in nearby states. We predicted a decline in casino revenue. Our predictions turned out to be 100% right.

We further proposed that state land be used to keep costs down and allow a greater share to go to the state. The state could own it and have it managed professionally. This model made a lot more sense for the taxpayer than the proposed bill.

What issues do you have with the way things are being run?

The biggest issues are portfolio performance issues. 2 billion dollars is a lot of money in a small state like Delaware. Our portfolio needs to managed professionally. Anyone who thinks cash management is a sleepy backwater is wrong. It would pay to have a person who managed a billion dollar portfolio to manage the state’s two billion dollar portfolio. I believe the employees deserve a professional financial manager in charge who can find efficiencies in the operations.

Chip Flowers has talked about 44 million dollars of a two billion portfolio over 3 years. That performance should be apologized for not touted. Chip Flowers doesn’t have the experience, neither does Sher, and Sean has even less. Do you want a pro or do you a rookie when it comes to managing your money?

What are your concluding thoughts?

A lot of people have tried to turn the treasurer into something else, but the job is measuring all the states receipts and disbursements and overseeing those people and managing the 2 billion dollars. I am glad that so many people are competing for the job because it is an important job.

We, Republicans are serious about stuff. If we are serious about finance, we need to have a professional for an office like state treasurer. For Attorney General, it is good to have someone with experience as a prosecutor. For insurance commissioner, we need someone who seriously understands insurance. I believe for treasurer, we need someone serious about finance. I have a solid track record of performance in 4 economic downturns. Sean Barney, Chip Flowers or Sher Valenzuela do not have the experience to be state treasurer. Who among us would you rather have managing your life’s savings through the next downturn?

Delaware Politics and Tidbits-Read It and Weep-The__7.11.14__Edition-

A plea to Rob Arlett. Pete Schwartzkopf’s problem. Best Dressed Male Republican of the Week and a look at this Delaware Medical Examiner’s issues.

Democrats Primarying An Incumbent?
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Pete Schwartzkopf no less!

Guy’s name is Nelson Warren and, in his words:

“I’m a nice guy. I’m not wealthy. I’m about as average as they come. I’m just a hardworking guy who thinks a lot of things need to be changed.”

I mean, that’s cool.

New Picture (21)Anybody remember when ole Pete was so offended at something Eric Bodenweiser said? I forget what it was, something about telling the truth. Of course this got Pete all upset and he went on WGMD with his outrage.

I thought it was a hoot, poor fellow.

Anyway, getting an opponent from his own party, this is different. The Republicans always try to get somebody to run against Schwartzkopf but goodness, this is the guy who, using crayons and scissors, cut out all the representative districts when redistricting was required!

And always the Republicans will tell you, somberly, “We only lost by eleventy eleven thousand last time”.

Okay, so I mock. Rehoboth Beach is known far and wide as a homosexual enclave. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But though a very sexually diverse community, Rehoboth Beach citizens are far more conservative than their homosexual brethren elsewhere.

It’s not beyond question that a Republican Conservative could carry that district.

It’s just not likely.

So we’ll keep eyeball on this interesting development.
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Chip Flowers-Public Service of This Blogger

Providing a public service I offer this link to the Flowers’ performance in a recent debate.

As I am to understand, Flowers too has a primary opponent. Whatever and whoever, this is a state office that the Republicans should be able to get, no problem.

I read that ole Chip is not even liked by the current state guys. Went on a trip to Alaska that resulted in having to pay back the state $400. Why do I think there’s more to this story?

Also ole Chip liked to invest state money and something about this stinks to high heaven.

The Republicans now have Sher Valenzuela running, as well as Ken Simpler, two very good candidates.

I see this as a real opportunity for a Republican win.

Am concerned about splitting the Republican vote.

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To Rob Arlett
 

I would like to interview you and ask that you contact me, here putting up my data on a public board seen by millions.

I’ll risk it. Email patfish1@aol.com or call 302-245-8188.

I interviewed Vance Phillips, your GOP primary contender. The public would sure like to see your take on things.

My interviews are gentle though I did mention in a prior post that I had issues with you voting NOT to support Vance in his incumbency run then turned right around and announced your desire for his office.

Anyway, I offer right here that this would be an issue in an interview with me so you may prepare ahead of time.

If I do not hear from Arlett’s people by the end of next week I will interview Bob Wheatley. I don’t usually do Democrat interviews (this might change) but I’ll make an exception this time.
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Speaking of Vance Phillips

Yes I did interview Vance Phillips recently. So it might seem a bit early to award Vance Best Dressed Male Republican of the Month. But since my pictures of him during the interview had him lying in a watermelon patch, I thought this handsome picture deserves a chance.

New Picture (22)

Vance is pictured with Allen Levine, formerly of Happy Harry’s fame, now Guru of Economic Development of Delaware. Levine is not shy about touting his achievements. The new Redners in Georgetown has a HUGE sign thanking the Delaware Department of Economic Development….can’t give the bureaucracies too much credit.
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What the Hell’s Going On In that Medical Examiner’s Office?

I’ve been hearing all of this background noise about the Medical Examiner’s office. Now it would seem that all cases involving medical evidence in Delaware might have to be re-tried?

I’m keeping my eye on this story and while I’m not sure of the chain of command on the ME’s office, somehow I think Beau Biden’s going to take another hit over this.

Yeah….Governor Beau. That’s the ticket!

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I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Hoping for some interviews, especially a female perspective on the new contender for State Treasurer.

An Interview with Sher Valenzuela, Candidate for State Treasurer

Sher Valenzuela is a well known advocate for special needs children including her own two. She was the top vote getter on the state GOP slate in 2012. She and her husband Eli were 2012 Small Business people of the year according to the SBA. They took a $5000 investment and turned it into a $10,000,000 business. “When we started, I would have had a hard time finding two dimes to rub together, now we are going to hit ten million dollars this year”, she said. That experience is why she believes unleashing the dreams in others like herself will unleash the economic engine of Delaware. Now she is taking that drive and attention to a new front, Delaware State Treasurer. She gave an exclusive interview to Delaware Politics where she explained why she filed, what she wants to accomplish, and why she is the best candidate.

Regarding her surprising last minute filing for state treasurer, Sher Valenzuela states, “this is the first chance we (republicans) have to win in twenty years and I could not let it slip away.”
After a chat with State Republican Chairman Charlie Copeland in October, Mrs. Sher Valenzuela pondered running for the position of State Treasurer, but put it on the backburner when she heard another candidate was running. Mr. Copeland pledged the party would be neutral in primaries, which she appreciated.

After helping other candidates, get started, she decided to look at the race again and was unsatisfied with the choices. “No one was saying anything different or speaking up for our conservative values”, she said. She was also unhappy that the other GOP candidate is perceived by her not to have an appreciation for the state’s dependence on Casinos because of his willingness to invest one. Sher decided to run for the position of State Treasurer. “I think the best qualifications for this office in terms of what we need to bring to the arena, is business background. This office should be involved in economic development. We should be looking to build our economic future,” stated Valenzuela.

She further states that two of our top ten revenue sources include casinos and unclaimed property, and that both are unreliable. One of the focuses of the office should be calling attention to the fact that some of our top revenue sources are unreliable and developing more reliable revenue through economic growth, she opined.

Still she acknowledges that the key to getting our state back on track is reducing unnecessary regulation and incubating new businesses. “Everything revolves around that economic engine. Hopefully people know that I am not a fly-by-night person seeking office. I am not a person with baseless political aspirations,” said Valenzuela.

In 2012, Valenzuela did well as a first time candidate, pulling 37% of the vote from incumbent Lt. Governor against Matt Denn. “I hope people had a chance to know me and what I stand for two years ago. It was a great opportunity to go to every county and town in Delaware. The issues in Laurel are not the same and they are in Wilmington. We suggested partnering with businesses to increase the crime-stopping efforts in Wilmington after meeting with the mayor of Wilmington,” Said Valenzuela.

“We don’t need people in office acting like they are smarter than the people they serve. Ken Simpler (Valenzuela’s opponent) was working with a Democratic Official’s son to turn the Seashore State park into a casino location,” said Valenzuela. “What will the Democrats do with that”, she asked?

On the issues, Valenzuela stated, “more jobs, less government. I don’t know why the chief financial officer can’t go in with sleeves rolled up to reduce regulation and offer new ways to have sustainable revenue through economic development.”

Mrs. Valenzuela said that she would educate the voters of the state on the top revenue sources and the instability of top two revenue sources (casinos and unclaimed property). Our education process will also include the state’s top ten revenue drains. In fact, part of her educational effort will be to ensure the average Delawarean is a familiar with the top ten state revenue sources and top ten revenue drains as they are with their own budget. We want to educate the public to a new type financial literacy that of their government’s budget.

In conclusion, Valenzuela states that she will be an advocate of cutting taxes and reducing the size of government, while unleashing Delaware’s economic engine so the people of Delaware have sustainable sources of revenue. “I look to be a public servant, who serves the public,” said Valenzuela.

Breaking News: Rebecca Walker Retires

State Representative Rebecca Walker has shocked the political establishment by withdrawing her candidacy for reelection to the 9th district. Sources say it was job related. This leaves Democrats scrambling to find a candidate to face Republican Kevin Hensley of Townsend. Since the deadline has passed, the 9th district Democratic Committee will choose a ballot replacement if they can do so by the September deadline.

Rep. Walker was known for her focus on healthcare issues and child advocacy during her time in the General Assembly.

This goes to prove that you can’t get lucky if you don’t have a candidate. This race goes from likely Democratic to leans Republican overnight. If Republicans don’t blow their chances with challenges to Don Blakey, Joe Miro, and Harold Peterman, they have a realistic opportunity for pick ups in the 10th with Judy Travis, the 31st with Sam Chick,(both benefiting from Democratic primaries), and the 41st with Rich Collins with an outside chance at the 8th. In the Senate the Republicans have an uphill battle for control though one that is entirely plausible. It is possible, the GOP will gain seats in both houses.

Update:

I will always be here if needed and it has been a true honor to have had the opportunity to serve. I will never stop supporting issues, advocating for those who need help and promoting sound decisions in my native Delaware and our 9th district.– Rep. Rebecca Walker

Where public policy meets common sense