Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sussex County Urges Congress to Reconsider Fuel Tax Bill

Sussex County (Delaware) adopted a resolution urging Congress to rethink its plans to institute a tax bill.  Please see the press release below from Chip Guy, Chief of Public Information for Sussex County.

Sussex County urges Congress to reconsider fuel tax bill

Georgetown, Del., Nov. 30, 2010: Sussex County Council is urging Congressional leaders to back off a proposal that would increase the federal fuel tax, an idea that, if enacted, would mean more dollars out of the pockets of Sussex Countians and millions of Americans.

County Council, at its Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, meeting, adopted a resolution calling on Delaware’s Congressional Delegation to withdraw any support for the proposal to raise by 25 cents a gallon – or any other increased amount – the federal portion of the fuel tax to pay for infrastructure improvements, such as bridges and roads.

County leaders, at the behest of Council President Vance Phillips, said the timing of the proposal is poor, given record unemployment and the flagging national economy.

“People are hurting. They’ve lost jobs, they’re struggling to make ends meet. Businesses are hurting, too,” Council President Phillips said. “To ask the people to pick up one cent more of government spending is wrong, and for many Americans, it could break the bank.”

Council’s resolution is non-binding, but County leaders said they are hopeful their decision will send a message to Washington that actions there filter down to the local level and reach into the pockets of hard-working, everyday people.

County Administrator David Baker will forward a copy of the resolution to Sens. Thomas Carper and Chris Coons, as well as Congressman-elect John Carney.


WHEREAS, there is a proposal to increase by 25 cents the federal fuel tax, at a time when gasoline prices are nearing $3 a gallon; and
WHEREAS, a fuel tax increase of 25 cents a gallon would cost the average Sussex County household more than $700 annually; and
WHEREAS, a high number of Sussex County residents are already unemployed or unable to find full-time work, while the national unemployment rate is at the highest sustained rate since the Great Depression; and
WHEREAS, a gasoline tax is particularly burdensome to lower- and lower-middle income citizens in non-urban areas, where there are few public transportation options available; and
WHEREAS, the County’s agriculture industry is adversely affected by higher fuel prices in all aspects, from production to transportation of goods; and
WHEREAS, the County’s tourism industry relies heavily on regional visitors whose discretionary spending could be curtailed by a significant rise in fuel prices; and
WHEREAS, increases in fuel taxes are passed on to consumers, affecting the price of most goods and services, thereby affecting the overall health and stability of our economy;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Sussex County Council hereby urges the Delaware Congressional Delegation to withdraw its support for any fuel tax increase; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County Administrator shall send an official copy of this resolution, upon its adoption, to each member of the Delaware Congressional Delegation for their consideration.

Wikileaks Fiasco Validates GAO Warning on Feds' Inability to Secure Information Networks

This week's bombshell of another Wiki-leaks information release embarrassed the Obama Administration on multiple fronts.  The major fiasco is the red-faced diplomatic embarrassment over leaks of sensitive information about foreign leaders and nations.  The second has yet to be mentioned, but should be on every one's mind.  It has to deal with securing our federal information networks.

Securing our federal information networks need to be treated with the same scrutiny and vigor as protecting every American man, woman and child.  The U.S. cannot afford to lose any more reputation around the world over this elementary requirement to secure our nation's classified and sensitive data.  Folks, this is Information Security 101.  And the Government Accountability Office (GAO) already cited the agencies for failure to secure their networks. Technology e-magazine eweek.com reported today of similar reports by the federal Office of Management and Budget of similar warnings to agencies to secure networks and removable media.

The June 2010 report cited a six-fold increased in perceived threats against federal information networks. The failure to secure the federal information network against hackers from Wikileaks exposes the Obama Administration from failing to protect America's most precious commodity - intelligence information.  And that could be Obama's downfall.

It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the United States is a target from terrorist groups and rogue nations around the world.  The State Department and Department of Homeland Security need to take this issue and fix this pronto.  Failure to do so further compromise national intelligence and prevent America from protecting itself.

The Department of Homeland Security must focus on:

  • Enterprise security to secure all networks and databases using National Institute of Standards and Technology , or NIST standards.
  • Moving the National Institute of Standards and Technology from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Homeland Security where it can work alongside federal intelligence agencies and federal protection agencies to protect and secure the federal information networks from domestic and foreign threats.
  • Operate the NIST and DHS' Cyber-threat organizations as a single  Information Security agency for the entire federal government.
These initial steps should move the U.S. towards having a more secure federal information network that will not be penetrable from domestic and foreign threats.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Commercial the U.S. Government Doesn't Want You To See

Why in the world does the U.S. government not want the American public to see this commercial aired on TV?

Could it be that it would validate what the Tea Party and conservative Republicans have been saying all along?

Economics 101: Why Politicians are Wrong

Thanks to the Center for Freedom and Prosperity for releasing a new video on why economists, the government and the media incorrectly focus on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of our nation's economic health.  If more focus was on Gross Domestic Income (GDI), Americans would be better off.

Economic Primer

First, let's give a little primer on what makes up gross domestic product and gross domestic income.

Gross Domestic Product, or GDP is amount of goods and services produced in a year, in a country.  In economic terms, GDP can be calculated by:

GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports − imports)

Gross Domestic Income, or GDI is comprised of national income plus "capital consumption".  In algebraic terms, net national income (NNI) (for educational purposes for this dialogue) is calculated by:

NNI = C + I + G + (NX) + net foreign factor income - indirect taxes - depreciation


* C = Consumption (final purchase of goods and services by individuals constitutes consumption
* I = Investments (everything that remains of total expenditure after consumption, government spending, and net exports are subtracted (i.e. I = GDP - C - G - NX))
* G = Government spending
* NX = net exports (exports minus imports)

Government spending or government expenditure is classified by economists into three main types.[1] Government acquisition of goods and services for current use to directly satisfy individual or collective needs of the members of the community is classed as government final consumption expenditure. Government acquisition of goods and services intended to create future benefits, such as infrastructure investment or research spending, is classed as government investment (gross fixed capital formation), which usually is the largest part of the government gross capital formation. Acquisition of goods and services is made through own production by the government (using the government's labour force, fixed assets and purchased goods and services for intermediate consumption) or through purchases of goods and services from market producers. Government expenditures that are not acquisition of goods and services, and instead just represent transfers of money, such as social security payments, are called transfer payments. Government spending can be financed by seigniorage, taxes, or government borrowing. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Video

With Economics 101 behind us, let's watch the video, and the we'll discuss more on why this is important.

More on Why Keynesian Policies Fail

As the video mentions, politicians and economists incorrectly focus on consumer spending rather than focusing on pro-growth policies to spurn economic growth.  What politicians fail to understand is that Keynesian policies that throw government money to grow the economy is short-term, while pro-growth that increase income is long-term.

What this means is that short-term band-aids such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or Stimulus Bill) only aid (if that) the economy in the short-term, rather than encourage or foster long-term real economic growth.  The premise by the Stimulus Bill was to create shovel ready jobs, but in reality when those pet projects are done, they economy will contract again.

Followers of Keynesian economics fail to understand that real economic growth is done in the private sector.  In order for their to be meaningful long-term economic growth, politicians need to focus on pro-growth policies such as: lower tax rates, deregulation, good monetary policy, liberal trade policy and  reduced burden of government spending (see 3:13 of video).

Until politicians abandon Keynesian economics (in favor of Hayek's more business friendly) policies) the American economy will continue to be sluggish.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The History of Thanksgiving

First, Blue Hen Conservative wishes everyone a Blessed and Happy Thankgiving!  May you take today to express gratitude and thanks for all that you have, and what God has given you.

The Thanksgiving tradition has deep historic roots in America.  From the early Spanish settlers in Texas in 1541 to the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, Thanksgiving is every bit American as the American flag.  

1541 - Spanish explorer, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, led a thanksgiving Communion celebration at the Palo Duro Canyon, West Texas.

1565 - Pedro Menendez de Aviles and 800 settlers gathered for a meal with the Timucuan Indians in the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, Florida.

1621 - Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated a harvest feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

1630 - Settlers observed the first Thanksgiving of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England on July 8, 1630.

1777 - George Washington and his army on the way to Valley Forge, stopped in blistering weather in open fields to observe the first Thanksgiving of the new United States of America.

1789 - President Washington declared November 26, 1789, as a national day of "thanksgiving and prayer."

1800s - The annual presidential thanksgiving proclamations ceased for 45 years in the early 1800s.

1863 - President Abraham Lincoln resumed the tradition of Thanksgiving proclamations in 1863. Since this date, Thanksgiving has been observed annually in the United States.

1941 - President Roosevelt established the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

The Thanksgiving holiday has deep rooted Biblical roots as well.  Notably, in these verses:
Psalm 107:1 (NIV)

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."

Psalm 95:1-6 (KJV)

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.

The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."

Psalm 145:7 (NIV)

They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Is Mike Castle's Stock Ownership of TSA Scanner Firm a Conflict of Interest?

While airline passengers cringe as they enter the new TSA body scanners, Mike Castle is getting rich off of it.  But he is not alone according to a Washington Examiner report.

Mike Castle and six other U.S. Representatives and two U.S. Senators each own multiple shares of stock in L-3 Communications.  L-3 is the manufacturer of the new high-density body scanner recently implemented at airports nationwide. 

Congress Members Invested in L-3 Communications

•Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) $500,001 to $1,000,000

•Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE) $16,002 to $65,000

•Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) $16,002 to $65,000

•Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) $15,001 to $50,000

•Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) $1,001 to $15,000

•Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA) $1,001 to $15,000

•Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) $2,173

•Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) $2,086

Isn't it a conflict of interest for member of Congress (either chamber) to own stock in a firm that receives federal appropriations?  We report, you decide.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Obama's 3 AM Wake Up Call: North Korea Attacks South Korea

While America was sleeping, North Korea attacked the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.  Early morning reports indicate two South Korean marines were killed.

As the America and the world digests new aggression by North Korea, what will President Obama do?  Clearly this is the 3 AM call we were warned about.  It is common knowledge that North Korea has developed long-range weapons and continues to explore new weapons technology. President Obama must now be bold and forceful to take on the North Korean regime to remain relevant. 

But with two overseas diplomatic failures this month alone, can Obama convince other allies on a course of action to restrain North Korea's actions?  Clearly, we cannot leave one of our Asian allies, South Korean defenseless and sitting duck waiting for another attack by North Korea.

The clock is ticking, and only time will tell if Obama will make the right choice.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is America's Food Supply at Risk?

In what may have been seen as a benign move to protect America's food supply from tainted food, S.510 is far from benign. The bill is nothing less than control over food supply. And it should scare everyone, as this will have far reaching effects including considerably higher food prices. Here's why.

First, the bill puts the control over the nation's food supply at the hand of the nations' largest government bureaucracies - the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and the Department of Defense (DOD). Too put in context, as quoted by an excellent article at American Thinker, S.510:

It is a dangerously broad regulatory bill giving extensive discretionary power to the FDA over the entire food supply chain without proper checks and balances to avoid abuse of power;

It would impose one-size-fits-all-regulations on thousands of small and mid-sized farmers, small-scale local farms and food producers, and would drastically burden, to extinction, basic natural and organic food suppliers, thus endangering the lives of Americans who depend on local wholesome foods;

And if you think you can have a home garden, or buy your favorite produce at the local farmstead, think again:

If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public's right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one's choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.

Now that the bad news has been spilled, it get's even worse. The Senate passed S.510 on bipartisan support 74-26 with seven out of 12 being Republican co-sponsors.  Delaware's two Senators - Carper (D-DE) and newly installed Coons (D-DE) supported the bill, which could be a death knell to Delaware's agriculture industry.

It's Time to Review TSA's Airline Security Procedures

The newly enhanced screening process put in place by TSA has gone too far. It is time for an independent commission to study the legality and effectiveness of these enhanced imaging and pat-down techniques.

If America is truly interested in accurate, safe transportation security, it best look to its best ally, Israel. Israel's El-Al is the safest airline in the world, and that is remarkable given it is in the middle of the war-torn Middle East.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Delaware GOP establishment still doesn't understand TEA Party movement

The "TEA Party" movement, more accurately described as the "Patriot Movement" has been alive and well in Delaware since March of 2009. For 20 months, everyday Delawareans have been raising their voices and letting them be heard. Thousands of Delawareans from all political persuasions have sought a new knowledge of America's roots. They have studied the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Federalist Papers along with newer sources like the "5000 Year Leap". They've gathered in churches, fire halls and even pavilions across the state. They've sought knowledge from some of the brightest minds in America like Dr. Moffit from the Heritage foundation. More and more come to each meeting and tell their friends. The numbers just seem to multiply each month! Still they are considered an uneducated and ignorant minority.

Thousands have rallied on street corners, on the Mall in Dover and at the Riverfront in Wilmington for "TEA Parties". They've called for a more fair media, a limited government restrained by the Constitution and an end to the out of control spending in Dover and Washington. Their signs have read "STOP SPENDING!" and "READ THE BILL". They have made it clear that they are Republicans, Independents AND Democrats and that there is no sexuality, gender or color boundary left uncrossed. Still they are labeled racists, bigots and social outcasts.

I have no doubt that radio personalities like Al Mascitti and the bloggers over at Delaware Liberal may be ignorant of what the Patriot Movement stands for. It's equally likely that they know EXACTLY what it stands for, understand the power of that message and therefore feel they must distort it. I cannot read inside their minds but either they are missing the obvious or they are deceitful. The same goes for the Delaware Democrat Party who may be the only group political or otherwise who actually DOES seem to understand the movement. They fear it and as well they should. The Patriot movement threatens to educate the electorate and an educated electorate more often than not leads to greater freedom and less government. That is why the Democrat Party and their operatives (like Maschitti and Delaware Liberal) work so hard to demonize the "TEA Party". They try to marginalize and push those of us who stand for the TEA Party principles to the fringe. They call us extremists, they call us racists and they call us "teabaggers". It's what liberals do, they attack the messenger and not the message because to be honest, their own message doesn't stand up well in the face of opposition.

The problem is that there is one group that clearly doesn't understand the message of the Patriot Movement. The Delaware GOP establishment. Despite the fact that the Patriot Movement came out in the tens of thousands to help Christine O'Donnell defeat longtime Congressman Mike Castle in the GOP primary in September. Congressman Castle was defeated for three reasons:
1.) He had moved away from his base and had begun courting the Democrats more and more. Perhaps this was in response to the registration numbers, perhaps it was just his nature. Either way he had lost his base. His votes for nearly every spending bill no longer showed him as even a Fiscal Conservative. Most Conservative groups labeled him THE most liberal Republican in the House of Representatives.
2.) He felt like he was entitled to the seat. Castle honestly felt like he didn't have to answer to the people he was sent to represent. This was clear in his answers at the few townhalls he held. It was also evident that Castle had CONTEMPT for many of the Patriot Movement members. He refused to debate or even appear at the same locations as his primary opponent and showed himself to be an elitist who was above those whose votes he desired.
3.) His votes for Cap and Trade and Financial Regulatory Reform soldified his fate. Castle claimed to have read the Cap and Trade bill yet he was stumped about some of the portions of the bill that were read to him by town hall attendees. The Financial Regulatory Reform bill harmed the credit card industry, caused layoffs and generally did little to protect consumers and yet Castle voted for it. He lobbied in FAVOR of Government controlled healthcare before voting AGAINST the bill and then sponsored a bill called the DISCLOSE Act that allowed all current special interests to operate as usual but which would have stifled the very grassroots organizations that threatened his election.

But Castle wasn't the only person that lost. Others around him lost and have faced severe backlash from the Patriot movement and from many Republican voters. Not everyone who lost election did so because they were ideologically like Mike, some lost because they aligned themselves with Mike thinking he was the right political choice. That was a calculation that caused otherwise acceptable candidates to the Patriot Movement to be rejected. For instance, Greenville businesswoman Michele Rollins. In a News Journal article today, Michele Rollins showed that the GOP establishment just doesn't understand the Patriot Movement:
"We need to sit back and say, 'Do we want to be a party of social issues?' If that's the case, then let it be that. But I can't be in that," said businesswoman Michele Rollins, who lost the GOP U.S. House primary to Glen Urquhart.

Urquhart had ripped Rollins for supporting a woman's right to abortion. "No matter how often I said no decent person could be for abortion ... it didn't seem to matter," Rollins said.

Unfortunately, Michele has missed the mark here and her statements are indicitive of the majority of the leadership of the GOP. It was never about social issues. It happened to be that both Christine O'Donnell and Glen Urquhart were not only Fiscal Conservatives but also Social Conservatives however, that was never something that the Patriot movement made an issue. Perhaps below the canal those issues played major roles but New Castle County groups have been focused on three key issues:
1.) Fiscal Responsibility (including cutting spending, lowering taxes and managing the deficit)
2.) Limited Constitutional Government (Government within the bounds of the Constitution which limits Federal power)
3.) Free Markets (Free and open private markets in which people are allowed to innovate, participate and create without government intervention)

Those three issues were issues that Mike Castle and the Delaware GOP as a whole had drifted from. Michele unfortunately aligned herself with Castle which cast her as more of the same. The Republican electorate soundly rejected Castle and that carried on to those they saw as like him. Rightly or wrongly, that's a fact and so is the fact that conservatives in Delaware have felt more and more left out. It's unfortunate for Michele because many of us in the movement saw her as an opportunity where the Patriot Movement and the establishment could have come together. It was not until she campaigned with Castle and positioned herself in percieved opposition to the majority of the electorate that she began to lose favor. In fact, despite her move toward Castle, many Patriots voted for her and not for Castle hence the reason her primary was so close. I for one would not have been disappointed with Michele Rollins and even thought she had the better opportunity to beat John Carney. It is a shame that she and others within the GOP have still not figured out the pulse of the Patriot Movement.

The fact is that the Patriot movement is hard to qualify precisely because it is so grassroots but there are some central themes. A limited federal government who leaves the social issues to the States and who constrains itself within the boundaries of the Constitution leads the way. We also expect the government to get a handle on spending, on the budget deficit and on the out of control taxation. Then we expect the government to ensure that our business markets are free and open to the public and that government stays out of the market as much as possible. The problem is that the Delaware Republican electorate did not see the party embracing these ideals and neither did the Patriot movement. As such, a change was called for. It is never easy for political parties to change but this was so glaring and so obvious that anyone should have seen it. The fact that the Delaware GOP establishment still can't, shows that they may still have learning to do. The Patriot Movement is willing to teach them if need be. The following quote from former 6th District Rep Tom Kovach shows that some establishment Republicans haven't heard the message yet:
"Let's focus on the fiscal conservancy of the party," said former state Rep. Tom Kovach, who lost re-election in a northern New Castle County district

Thanks Tom, we've BEEN focusing on that. The problem is that the establishment wants to pick the candidates themselves for us. Now, in a desperate move to explain rejection by the left AND the right, the establishment is claiming that this was fiscal conservatives vs. social conservatives. It was not. Mike Castle was NOT a fiscal conservative and hadn't been in almost 10 years. Mike Castle was not even a MODERATE Republican, he was a Progressive left learning Republican who had more in common with liberal Democrats than he did with conservative Republicans. The people had their say and they chose candidates that should have moved the leadership to understand it needed to moderate BACK to the right in it's choices of candidates. Instead it has confused some moderates and sent Mike Castle into a rage that has led him to conclude that he has to start a war over control of the Republican Party. Castle is now choosing candidates that stand in near direct opposition to what the electorate voted for in September. Time will tell but the hope is that the Delaware GOP will figure it out sooner, rather than later. The only way to win is to work together.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Poll Shows Mike Protack is Republican Favorite for County Council President

Founders Values is a well known Delaware educational group that focuses on the founding principles of our nation. They strive to educate the electorate and children on those founding principles and on the Constitution and related documents. They have been active for about 18 months and they have organized many events including a number of TEA Parties across the state. Their members have been an active force in the recent political landscape in Delaware and have even impacted legislation in the state and nationally.

In June of 2010, Founders Values administered a survey of likely Republican voters in the U.S. Senate primary between longtime Congressman Mike Castle and Conservative activist Christine O'Donnell. The poll found O'Donnell leading Castle by nearly a 3-1 margin. It was the first (and almost only) poll that found O'Donnell in the lead among likely voters until her upset victory on Sept. 14th. While laughed at initially by local media personalities, the poll proved to foreshadow the results of the Republican Primary.

The group obtained the names of the two front runners for the Republican nomination in the Special Election for New Castle County President. Delta airlines pilot Mike Protack, who ran for Governor in 2008 and former State Representative Tom Kovach are the names who have been mentioned as the leaders for the spot. Protack ran unsuccessfully in a Republican Primary in 2006 against eventual nominee Jan Ting who faced Tom Carper(Christine O'Donnell was also a write in candidate in that Primary Election). He then ran in the GOP Primary for Gov. in 2008 but left the race to run as the Independent candidate. Protack ran in 2010 for the 3rd County Council seat but faced a primary opponent in Janet Kilpatrick who was seen as Mike Castle's personal nominee to oppose Protack who was backed by the TEA Parties. Kovach ran in the 2008 special for the 6th district Representative seat in Brandywine Hundred. He narrowly defeated the Democrat (by just over 100 votes) in the race but lost this year to Debra Heffernan.

The telephone poll conducted on 11/12 & 11/13 and was a survey of more than 300 likely Republican voters in the New Castle County Council President special election. 60% of the respondents chose Protack where just 40% chose Kovach as their desired nominee. See the Founders Values Press Release for more information.

Founders Values Executive Director Jon Sherman said "We believe that these poll numbers represent the mood of the Republican electorate and we hope that the leaders of both parties will understand that this is an important process that should be left to the people to decide."

Mike Protack has been tied to the Patriot movement in recent years. He was an early supporter and helped to organize the Wilmington TEA Party events in 2009 and 2010 and earned the endorsement of the conservative group Common Sense Communities Society in the Republican Primary. He has a very good name recognition and being a card carrying union member helps him with with a voting bloc that does not often fair well for Republicans. He has been plagued by the notion that he is a perennial candidate for one office or another but even that stigma appears not to hurt him among members of his party when compared to Mr. Kovach.

Tom Kovach is a contrast to Protack as he is the hand picked candidate by Mike Castle. Castle is the long term Congressman who was ousted by Christine O'Donnell and the TEA Party groups in Delaware. Castle and Kovach all but endorsed Chris Coons and publicly were quite critical of O'Donnell and her "TEA Party supporters" despite the fact that those supporters contained a majority of the Republican Party voters. Kovach is rumored to be a supporter of the policies of Chris Coons including the Stoltz development of the Barley Mill Plaza location that citizens group CRG has been a staunch opponent to. This could pose problems for Kovach when it comes to raising money and garnering votes from the Greenville and Elsemere areas affected by the development. Many Republicans believe that Congressman Castle has waged his own personal war against the majority of party voters who ousted him in September and considers those who supported O'Donnell his enemies. He has built a coalition of current and former legislators and party officials and some see Mr. Kovach, a staunch supporter of Castle, as yet another example of Castle's personal war with the electorate.

Only time will tell who the Republicans support. What's a near certainty is that the Democrats will choose AFL-CIO Vice President Tim Sheldon. He will be backed by Paul Clark and Clark's wife Pam Scott who is an attorney with Stoltz in the Barley Mill case. Though Sheldon, the Democrat would be the party's first choice, it's not inconceivable that they could work out a deal with Castle to bring in the more moderate Kovach as Council President. If Protack or a more conservative candidate were to get the nod, it's likely that they would face off in a heated blitz with Sheldon. The date of the election has not yet been set but the Democrats are due to announce their choice this coming Friday.

Friday, November 12, 2010

So Displaying the American Flag is Offensive?

Another day, another story of an American citizen told to remove the American flag from their own personal property. When is this hatred of America going to end?

Recently, a story of a 13 year-old California teen was told by his school that he must remove a flag from his own bicycle. It is apparent freedom of expression (including expression of love of your country) no longer exists.


Did TSA Go Too Far?

Last month, in an attempt to beef up airport security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began a roll-out of high-tech body scanners.  Despite the best of intentions, the scanners are receiving backlash from airport patrons due to their invasive images that are very graphic.

Fox News and other media outlets broke the story today on the major backlash by airport patrons and the new techniques to screen airport patrons. And thanks to them the awareness of these questionable techniques can now be evaluated by the public. Clearly, the images above are very graphic and revealing in nature.

More troubling are the procedure to conduct "enhanced pat downs" of those that opt-out of the body scans. 

The question is why aren't other high tech imaging systems such as those used in correctional facilities to detect illegal weapons and contraband?

Meanwhile in Germany, protestors in German demonstrated in the nude (not really) in opposition to their airport scanners.  Is this what it will take to have TSA re-evaluate the revealing and intrusive passenger screening policy in the U.S.?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to Win Friends and Influence People (Delaware GOP Edition)

No this is not a book report on the famous management book How to Win Friends and Influence People.  But a lot of what is in that book can be applied to rebuilding the Delaware Republican party.  At a time when it may appear the Republican party or conservative movement is fractured due to the recent primary, it really is not.

For the Republican Party to win in 2012, we must unite and remain focused on one goal - winning in 2012!  Winning elections for Republican candidates cannot be done with the conservative gloating and chest thumping because of the primary victory over moderate Mike Castle.  Nor can the leaders of the Republican party dismiss the conservative victory of the same.  The conservatives movement made significant strides in that primary win, but the path forward is a complicated one.

As written in the Picking Up the Pieces post, their is only one size fits all message that can applied to all three counties.  For Republicans to win in New Castle County, Republicans must run on fiscal conservatism.  This is much different than Sussex, which can run on both fiscal and social conservatism.  As the two factions of the conservative movement go head-to-head, one must realize that a victory on fiscal conservatism alone, is a victory for the conservative movement.  The movement wins, and taxpayers regardless of political party affiliation benefit with a greater chance of living the American dream.

This notion of advancing limited government, fiscal restraint, and lower taxation resonates and is emboldened by the various Tea Party groups throughout Delaware.  This group must also be given a seat at the table of how the Delaware Republican Party operates and chooses candidates moving forward.  The Republican Party of Delaware cannot survive without the Tea Party, and nor should the Tea Party operate without encouraging candidates to run under the Republican banner.  For limited government and fiscal restraint is the cornerstone of both the Republican party and also of the Tea Party.

As the two worlds collide, calm heads must prevail.  Past differences must be forgotten, and concrete discussions on building on what has been accomplished must commence.  Both sides are coming to the table with valid points that both deserve thought and consideration.  The months ahead as we move forward to put in new leadership and build the leadership will require listening on both sides of each other.  It will tough, as either side will try to make their case.  The Tea Party won the primary, and the leadership failed to back those victors.  The Tea Party cannot steamroll its way in to the leadership without a clear plan, for the old guard will push back hard.

A united Tea Party and Delaware GOP can move forward and turn Delaware red once again.  But the Tea Party must become part of the party. It must put up delegates.  It can challenge leadership slots, but based on principle and in a democratic forum by all registered Republicans.  And in turn the leadership of the Republican Party must respect the fiscal conservative message of the Tea Party for if it is loses this, it will die its own death.  Painfully and with loss dignity.

No matter who is at the table, or in charge - planning for victory in 2012 is vital.  Remember this passage from a dear friend of mine: If you fail to plan, plan to fail.

Overcoming Delaware's Liberal Media Bias

Let's face it, the media in Delaware is overwhelming liberal and biased against the conservative message.  From the ultra-liberal News Journal to the surrounding Philadelphia CBS, NBC, and ABC network affiliates, the conservative message is being ignored.  So what do we do about it?  Let's analyze this by county.

New Castle County

New Castle county is the northernmost county, and Delaware's most populated county.  With this comes awesome opportunity to spread the conservative message.  But with Wilmington, the state's business capitol just 35 miles from Philadelphia, the message is drowned out by the liberal Philadelphia media market. Whether is the three major network affiliates, or the Philadelphia Inquirer, the message is continually liberal to the dismay and frustration of Delaware conservatives.

Adding insult to injury, the News Journal, based in New Castle is a bastion of ultra-liberal propaganda.  During the 2010 election cycle, no conservative candidates got fair press by the News Journal.  And sadly, there is no other newspaper alternative in New Castle County.  The News Journal is the state's largest newspaper with a circulation of 91,000 and scores more online at www.delawareonline.com.

New Castle county is home to two talk radio stations - WDEL and WILM.  WILM 1450-AM does simulcast conservative pundits such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Michael Savage.  WDEL 1150-AM is home to more home-grown local talk radio pundits such as Rick Jensen and Alan Loudell.  While WILM simulcasts national conservative radio talk shows, WDEL's local flair and reach is traditionally liberal to disadvantage of New Castle county conservative listeners.

Kent County

Kent County is the next southern county in Delaware, and is home to the state's political capitol, Dover.  With the exception of Dover, Kent County is traditionally rural with sprawling farmland.

Dover's only newspapers The Delaware State News and Dover Post, each with relatively small circulation are conservative friendly.  The Dover Post has a circulation of 26,000, while the Delaware State News has a small circulation of 15,000. 

Kent County only has one TV affiliate WBOC a FOX affiliate out of Salisbury, MD.  There are no talk radio stations in Kent County.

Sussex County

Sussex County is the southernmost county in Delaware, and home to beach resorts.  It's largest city is Georgetown.  Like Kent County, the county is mostly rural and home to a large retiree population thank to the relaxing nearby beach resorts.  Unlike New Castle county, Sussex is far more conservative.

There two newspapers in Sussex County.  The Sussex Post is the largest with a population of 20,000 and dwarfs the Sussex Countian with a readership of 3,000.

Sussex County has one talk radio station, WGMD 92.7 FM that is pretty conservative with iconic hosts such as Bill Colley and Dan Gaffney.

Television news in Sussex comes from the WBOC, the Fox affiliate in Salisbury and major network affiliates in Baltimore, MD.

Overcoming the Liberal Media Bias in Delaware

Unless there is a rich investor in Delaware (or outside Delaware) creating a new conservative traditional media outlet (TV, radio, or newspaper) is probably out of the question. So how can we overcome this media outlet with limited financial resources?

Internet radio.  Setting up Internet radio that can be simulcast or podcasted throughout the state is the most cost-effective method of getting the conservative message out to Delawareans.  Leveraging social media networks such as blogs (including this one), Twitter and Facebook can amplify those podcasts to make them viral.

Public Access Television.  Hosting a conservative forum or TV talk show can be an excellent way to overcome the liberal media bias.  Other than any costs to produce the show (video production), airtime costs on public access television are very affordable.  Videos of these forums or shows can also be uploaded on YouTube or Vimeo and made viral via social networking sites.

Other Conservative Newspapers.  There are several local and national conservative newspapers that you should read, and encourage others to read.  Cancel that News Journal subscription and read these:

Social Networking.  Leverage your thoughts on the conservative message or topics du jour on blogs, Twitter and Facebook.  Share your thoughts and news that interest you with your friends and family that you are connected with.

Honor Thy Veterans

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Picking Up the Pieces

With the losses statewide last week, Republicans throughout Delaware should re-focus on 2012.  While the election losses of 2010 may sting for a while, crying over spilled milk will not do any good.  In analyzing the carcass of what is left of the Delaware Republican party, there is plenty of work to be done.  And besides, we only have 717 days until November 6, 2012.

If Republicans and the conservative movement are going to win in 2012, we must unite and address the serious road blocks that have plagued us for the last twenty years.  These road blocks are not new, but have failed to be addressed by the Republican Party leadership since the Delaware GOP lost dominance due to the local power loss left by the Du Pont Co.  Ever since the Du Pont Co. focused on its global businesses, the Delaware GOP has been seething from loss after loss.

So how do we fix this?  We must fix three things:  leadership, minority outreach and technology.

Clearly, the leadership of the Republican party is more interested in protecting its own power, than winning elections.  We must re-organize the Republican party as one not of a few, but one that identifies with like minded citizens who wanted a limited-government, and want to keep more of what they earn. 

In May 2011, Republicans will convene for its annual convention.  This convention will focus on who will be the new face of the Republican party and who will take us to victory in 2012.  Clearly, we cannot continue to move forward with the same leadership team.  The new leadership team must unite the conservative movement, and those that consider themselves 'moderates'.

With that unity, the challenge of uniting the very conservative Sussex county and the more liberal New Castle county is a tall order but can be done.  A one-size fits all model for all three counties will not work.  What works in Sussex, will not work in New Castle.  However, competent leadership teams in each county can unite behind a fiscal conservative message, and with that we can win in 2012 statewide.  In pockets where social conservatism can gain ground, go for it.

The second item on the list, is to bring like minded Delawareans of all races and religions into the Republican party.  Three initial and separate initiatives should focus on reaching out to the African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian Indian citizens.  The Republican party must be willing to go into these neighborhoods and barrios to communicate and reach out them. 

Many African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are deeply rooted in faith, and share the same values the Republican party does.  They share family values, but more importantly, it is the fiscal conservative message that will unite them behind the Republican brand.

The Delaware Republican party has ignored the city of Wilmington to its detriment, and with the 2012 mayoral race we can reclaim it.  Rumor has it, Republican Councilman Michael Brown will be seeing the mayoral nomination. If the Republican party can elect Mike Brown as Wilmington's next mayor, we can make serious inroads into the African-American community in Wilmington.

Republicans statewide must also be willing to reach out to the Hispanic/Latino community.  With this, we must be willing to speak the language and understand their culture.  Many Hispanic/Latinos have deeply rooted faith and family values, and the conservative message is a natural fit.  If we embrace them, and do not ignore them, they will come back to the Republican camp.

The last demographic that must be embraced is the Asian-Indian community.  Many in this community are small business owners and professionals who are natural fit to the fiscal conservative message.  This is a must for the Republican party, if we are to remain competitive in the state electoral politics.  This demographic, as well as the Hispanic/Latino demographic are the fastest growing.

The last item on the repair list for the Delaware Republican Party is to address its reluctance to embrace technology.  While the party does have a web site, it is not engaging nor welcoming. The web site must be interactive and relevant with the aim to sell the reader on the party platform, how to get involved and how to contribute.  The Party must also leverage its Twitter account and engage Facebook to build a community of its members.

Currently, the Delaware Republican party is using the same technology model that plagued John McCain in the 2008 Presidential race.  John McCain with a IT staff four was dwarfed by now President Obama who had an IT staff of 96.  The Obama camp also had its own social networking site, and leverage mobile technology.

In politics, you cannot run an Eisenhower campaign in an Obama world.  This is so true, especially in how politics and technology fit hand in glove.  Technology is the vehicle to deliver the party platform to the voter, and if done right, engages them into the process.  Technology must be a major focus , if Delaware Republicans want to win in 2012.  Ignore it, at your peril.

Dear Ken Grant, we're tired of you too...

Tens of thousands of Republicans came out to the polls on September 14th in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds to cast a vote for Christine O'Donnell. It was the end of a BRUTAL U.S. Senate primary campaign that pitted career politician (40+ years in elected office) and the most liberal Republican in the House of Representatives against a virtual newcomer in conservative activist Christine O'Donnell. Mike Castle ran a total smear campaign against Christine O'Donnell. He did not debate her and would not comment on the issues of the day. He did not feel that he needed to explain any of the votes he had made, including his vote in favor of the controversial Cap and Trade legislation. In short, Congressman Castle had moved too far ideologically from his base, he's become inaccessible and carried a sense of entitlement and he refused to answer to the people. His only plan for the campaign was to find ways to destroy who Christine O'Donnell was. He and his allies within the Delaware GOP ran the aggressive smear campaign without regard to the facts in evidence. They claimed her house had been foreclosed upon when she had indeed sold it before it was foreclosed upon. They claimed she had owed back taxes when in fact, the IRS had on more than one occasion stated that the "lien" on record was an unfortunate "computer error". They also claimed that she had misused campaign funds in a previous Senate campaign despite the fact that the FEC had investigated these concerns in 2008 and found them lacking any evidence. Mike Castle even had his people create blogs dedicated to the total destruction of Christine's character. He even influenced talk radio hosts in the state to lash out at Ms. O'Donnell. Christine was clearly frustrated by the lack of attention paid to the issues and she lashed out at the media and at Castle supporters who played such dirty tactics. In the end, September 15th was the beginning of a difficult General Election campaign. The reason is because of those tens of thousands of Delaware voters who came out to vote for Christine and in some cases against Mike Castle.

Castle lost the election despite his all out smear campaign against Christine O'Donnell. I was a key contributor to the message that dethroned Congressman Castle. This blog was picked up on many national blogs and some of my posts were used as fuel for national conservative talk show hosts and bloggers. I don't mean to brag but I won't hide MY bonafides the way some like Mr. Grant do theirs. I was a consistent caller to WILM and WDEL and I spent as much time, if not more, writing, researching and talking about Castle, O'Donnell and the race between the two. Well after the primary I went silent. The reason I went silent is because the O'Donnell campaign brought me on to do messaging and opposition work in the General Election. I did not feel it was proper to actively write during the campaign I was working on.

The General Election campaign did not go as well as we had hoped. Christine made some mistakes that the media pounced on and Coons made some too although you probably haven't heard too much about those. This time there were debates and Coons should have swept the floor with her using conventional wisdom...he was after all a 2-time...2-time...national debate champion in college. He'd attended Yale Divinity and he's been County Council President and County Council Executive. The problem was that she held his feet to the fire in a nationally televised debate on CNN...and then again on a local radio debate on WDEL. In fact, she consistently, in debate after debate, out witted Coons and held her own or flat out beat him in the debates. Finally, after a debate on WHYY in which she once again showed that her stance on issues was one that Coons could not refute, he decided to pull out of all future debate and declared that the people of Delaware knew all they needed to know. From the beginning of the campaign, Coons and the DSCC had run a SLEW of negative ads about Christine. They called her a witch, labeled her a wacko and used the same false information that the GOP leadership had provided during the primary campaign to paint her as a criminal. Christine's campaign had benefited GREATLY from her victory over Castle. She'd brought in millions of dollars for the campaign through major conservative media outlets and grassroots connections. The people of Delaware complained that the money was from outside Delaware but they don't tell you that more than 60% of Mike Castle's money came from out of state or that a similar number of Chris Coons' contributions likewise came from out of state. The Democrat fundraising tool called ActBlue raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Coons. Plus, he had something Christine didn't have, a party supporting him locally and nationally.

You see, Christine had upset the balance of power for the elites in the party. The leadership here in Delaware was turned on its head. One member had said that Christine could not beat Castle without $2 million and made fun of Christine's stand on conservative principles. They also made it clear that neither Christine nor Glen Urquhart were welcome to run for Republican seats because they had "never done anything for the party". Another leader told the world stage that Christine could "Never be elected dogcatcher." These are not acceptable statements by so-called party leaders. Nationally, even after the election, Karl Rove, Charles Krauthammer and other Republican national level leaders continued to pander about the lies and rumors that the Castle campaign had failed to prove to the primary electorate. While Coons had the DSCC spending millions on ads to run their attacks against Christine...the NRSC was no where to be found. In fact, once Castle lost the RNC all but shut down the "Victory Offices" that the GOP traditionally pays for so that the party can support GOTV efforts and voter identification efforts on behalf of the winning candidates.

Delaware has a weird election schedule as the primary election is only 6 weeks before the general election. This leaves very little time for turn around. The state GOP did not hand over the keys to the Victory office to Christine's campaign for 2+ weeks. This left a little over 3 weeks for the O'Donnell people to staff the office and utilize the phones. Let's also remember that the people who did the calling for O'Donnell generally also called for other candidates across the state. They reached across the ideological aisle to party candidates. In fact, Christine held a GOP unity event at her campaign HQ and personally presented checks to every candidate who attended. Those who did not attend were mailed checks. Some returned the checks in protest. She wanted to help the down ballot candidates and she wanted the party to succeed. Once the Victory office came online (thanks largely to the hard work of people like Charlie Copeland who has always been a bridge builder) the party did begin to chip in where it felt it HAD to.

Today, Delaware's National Committeewoman Priscilla Rakestraw went live on the "Rick Jensen Show" along with Mr. Ken Grant (a squishy Castle supporter) who wrote a quite vicious op-ed today in the News Journal (Delaware's version of the NYT). Priscilla went on to "address the notion that the state party did not help Christine". She cited a few things.
1.) The State GOP provided her with 40% of the Brandywine GOP office for her campaign efforts which was "taken over" by the O'Donnell campaign. Reality check: The O'Donnell campaign sent 1 staff member to the Brandywine GOP (The Victory office that it took us 2+ weeks to get) and the handful of volunteers each day who went into the victory office made calls for Christine, Glen, Colin Bonini and Tom Wagner (even some local candidates) which last I checked was a shared effort.
2.) The state GOP spent $250,000 on mailings for Christine's campaign. Reality check: The campaign designed the mailings and provided them to the printer...in fact, the campaign provided volunteers to transport the materials to and from the post office and to bring back the overruns. The party might have paid for the postage...but I can't confirm that.
3.) That the RNC "Fire Pelosi" bus tour had to make a second stop in Dover to meet Christine on the campaign trail. Reality Check: The media darling of the east coast, a woman who brought more energy and excitement to the state GOP than it's had in years, a woman who infused the party and Delaware politics with more money and energy than possibly ever before, requested that the party which had so far let her fight on the front lines against the ENTIRE Democrat Party and state controlled media drive 50 miles south (on their way to MD) to meet her in Dover.

Priscilla Rakestraw, I'm calling you out, which calls did you make? What block did you walk? Why didn't you show up to the meet and greets that I know you were invited to at two quite influential homes? If you worked so hard for the candidates, how come the ONLY event I saw you at was the one where Chairman Steele was but Christine wasn't? Tom Ross came to the GOP Unity event, where were YOU?

Finally, to Mr. Ken Grant, who felt so inclined to pile on to Ms. O'Donnell, what is the success that YOU have brought to the Delaware GOP? I hope, as former Communications Director that you had nothing to do with the rather weak website, the missing (or hidden) Twitter account and the lack of any coherent message that the Delaware GOP has (or doesn't as it may be). Christine brought, if nothing else, character and excitement to an otherwise dismal failure known as the Delaware GOP since 2000. Was she the perfect candidate? No. But she was good enough to beat Mike Castle in the primary, which means that the PEOPLE of the party thought she was the better choice. Before you ostracize the 30,000+ voters who chose her over Mike in the primary, or the 120,000+ voters who voted for her in the general election, before you tell those of us who supported her and who rejected an elitist, leftist who thought he was entitled to the Senate seat and above answering to the people who elected him, I suggest you look at the direction the Delaware GOP was going in when we came on the scene. Ask yourself why we felt that we needed to get involved in the first place. You rip Christine for any number of violations of "The Delaware Way" and you chastise her for the same lies and distortions that have been proven over, and over, and over again to be false. The fact is that you sir, have consistently touted every leftist initiative that Delaware's ruling class has put out there. Despite the fact that Jack Markell and Alan Levin have yet to create a job to replace the 2 auto plants and the Valero plant shutdown...or the many layoffs at Bank of America, CITI and Discover. You haven't spoken out about the lack of manufacturing jobs, the failures of the state government to root out corruption or the fact that Wilmington is going to hell in a hand basket yet you pretend to have a clue. Every now and again you promote some business or another, admirable to some extent but your answer to fixing Wilmington for instance is to put a movie theater at the Riverfront. How does that help impact the 18% unemployment in Wilmington? How does it address the rampant drug and gang violence in the city? How does it help the buildings that are literally crumbling? Or do you just not care as long as your arts and entertainment scene is in "the good part of town"?

The fact is that it is YOU sir and those like you who have run the party into the ground and WE (meaning the Patriot movement that helped sweep Christine to victory in September) intend to rebuild, revitalize and restart the party. Now, the way I see it there are three things that people like you can do:
1.) Get the hell out of the way and let us take the lead for a while so we can rebuild.
2.) Get in there and work WITH us to build this party in a way that we all are able to support it and that will make it THE place to be for Delaware voters.
3.) Obstruct us and eventually completely discredit yourselves publicly.
4.) Leave the party.

I sincerely hope you choose option 1 or 2. I would like to see you all choose the second option. I want to work WITH the people who have been involved not against them. Are there changes that must be made, YES. Some people are going to be be asked to leave their current roles and some will probably need to be forced out. Some will leave (and are already) their roles voluntarily. Some people who can be great assets are going to choose to leave and that is unfortunate. No one will get everything they want but everyone will get something. The party will be better off in the end and the bottom line is that "The Delaware Way", which is nothing more than a way for the powerful to maintain power, has been shattered. The PEOPLE have spoken and they want a say. As they say in the Army, Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way.

Happy Birthday USMC!!!

As a former Marine let me say:

OORAH and Semper Fi to my fellow Marines especially those serving overseas. Enjoy the ball tonight and remember where you came from. Remember that the Marines were created as an elite unit in 1775. We are linked arm in arm with the birth of our nation and let that never be in doubt for you.

FYI: I will be back and blogging in the VERY near future, thanks to Jason, Diane and others for continuing the high quality postings you have come to expect from Blue Hen Conservative and for making this blog one of the most read Delaware blogs. Congratulations on all of your hard work.

Delaware Senator Carper Proposes Gasoline Tax

Yesterday, Delaware Senator Tom Carper and one Republican colleague proposed a 25-cent gasoline tax to fund for highways and pay down the deficit.  The tax which will be phased in one-cent each month for 25 months is problematic for Americans who already financially strapped due to the lagging economy and rising taxes on just about everything else.

Carper and Ohio Republican George Voinovich proposed that of the 25-cent increase, 10 cents should be temporarily dedicated to deficit reduction and 15 cents should fund transportation improvements. They estimate the increases would raise more than $83 billion to reduce the deficit and $117 billion for new transportation investments over five years.

Clearly, Senator Carper is tone-def to what the average American family is going through, and proposing a gasoline tax is just another way to tax Americans to the federal government's Utopian concept of prosperity.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Is the U.S. the next Greece?

A recent International Monetary Fund analysis shows the U.S. may be borrowing too much, and could be heading towards the next Greece.  Over the past weekend, the Wall Street Journal thankfully illustrated that the U.S. may be borrowing over $4.2 Trillion next year, which represents over 28% of the nations GDP.

The U.S. was second behind Japan, in terms of borrowing compared to GDP, but the ranked highest in borrowing needs.  Greece was third behind the United States.

Clearly, the U.S. is on the wrong track and must restraint government spending to stop it dependency on other people's money to survive.  Read the complete article here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Heritage's Moffit: Health Care Reform Must Focus on Portability, Individual Control

Today, Robert Moffit, PhD, a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation addressed the staggering problem with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), in its failure to address cost reform, portability and individual control.  Moffit addressed a crowd of nearly 100 at the monthly First State Patriots meeting in Middletown, DE.  Moffit eloquently laid out some concerns with this legislation that will shock even the informed voter.

Moffit said Congress should immediately at its first availability schedule a vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The reasons for this are based on the individual mandate which appears to be a violation of the 10th Amendment which defer non-federal issues to the states' to resolve.  Second on the list the false pretense on passing the bill that the bill would lower costs.  Since the passage of the bill on March 21st, the spending curves for health care appear to be increasing, contrary to what was originally promised.  Third and lastly, is the bill fails to restore the traditional doctor-patient relationship and interjects the government into the examination room.

Despite the claims by President Obama the bill is a full-scale takeover of the health care industry.  The bill dictates what health care plan you may have, what coverage you are entitled to, a what treatment you are eligible for and what the cost parameters to that treatment. Since the passage of the bill, we all now know that this bill has stolen the valuable and precious doctor-patient relationship and has interjected the government into the examination room, who will decide (rather than the doctors we trust) on what treatment we can received.  And that alone is a miscarriage of justice.

As if the theft of the traditional doctor-patient relationship was not enough, the bill transfers the state oversight of health care insurance from the state level to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  This is a complete and total diminished role of state's Insurance Commissioners, and violation of the Tenth Amendment.

No one is questioning that the care system in America is broken. It is, but what is broken is the cost of health care - not the delivery of care.  The primary goal of any health care reform bill hinges on three core principles.  The first is the complete restoration of the traditional doctor-patient relationship, where the doctor is the sole decider on the course of treatment.   The second is that individuals and/or families control what health care policy is right for them, just like they would do with a automobile, life or homeowners policy.  Third, the individual and/or families would decide on a health care plan based on value and relevance for them, not a preconceived mandate from the federal government.

In evaluating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress errored on two key points in the Constitution in authoring and passing this bill.  The errors reside in Article I, Section 8 where Congress is given two explicit powers - the power to raise revenue (tax policy) and the power to regulate or promote interstate commerce.

Within these powers, Congress has the power to drive tax policy to alter the tax consequence of health insurance.  Let's review history for a moment and compare the tax policy today versus in 1940s when businesses gave incentives for health care insurance to add to total compensation to attract workers in the post World War II economy.  Within this scenario, the employee would be exempt from the tax liability of the employer-provided health care, while the employer received a tax incentive to offer it. The only problem with this plan is that the health care plan is not portable.

In contrast to every other economic sector, health care insurance is not competitive.  In those sectors, the individual can get what they want, for what they want to pay (price).  That is not allowed in the health care "market", as the system directly causes large number of Americans to be uninsured or under-insured.  The only way to fix this is to tie the health care policy to the person, and not the job. In order to do this, you must reform the IRS tax code such that the tax relief is given for individuals who purchase health care insurance on their own.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Election 2010: Balance of Power in the Delaware Senate

Election 2010 was better for Republicans as they picked up one seat this year.  Dave Lawson (R-15) beat long-time Senator Nancy Cook, who was very influential on the Joint Finance Committee.  Here is the map of the new Delaware Senate:

While the Republicans are far from controlling the Delaware Senate, one more in the Senate helps.  The new balance of power is Democrats 13 versus Republicans with 7.

With nine Senate seats up in 2012, the Republicans should focus on winning those with strong fiscal conservatives.  The seats up in 2012 are 2,3,4,6,10,11,16,17 and 18.  More on who currently resides on those seats later, and who will be good to replace them.

Election 2010: Balance of Power in the Delaware House

The balance of power in the Delaware House shifted more to the Democrats.  They picked up more seats and now control the House 26-15.

Election 2010 proved Republicans in New Castle County are at the biggest disadvantaged, as they only control the  affluent Hockession, Greenville, and select parts of Brandywine Hundred there.

Some key upsets include Rep. Tom Kovach (R-6) losing his seat; and the seat formerly held by retiring Rep. Dick Cathcart (R-9) switching to the Democrats, with John Marino losing to Rebecca Walker. 

What is more disheartening is the fact that the Republicans will have even less of a voice in the General Assembly, with the exception of the southern Kent and most of Sussex counties.

2012 must focus on reclaiming every single House seat as we will get another shot at all 41 House seats.  For 2012, Delaware must retain all fifteen and pick up at least seven to control the House.

Getting Ready for 2012

We hope you like our new look!

Blue Hen Conservative started six months ago by some enthusiastic conservative activists who are passionate about Delaware, and our country.  In six short months, our readership soared from low 100s per month to 6,000 in late October.

This may not be the last revamp, but we are reloading for 2012!

Senator-elect Marco Rubio (R-FL) Delivers The Weekly GOP Address

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Founding Fathers and John Locke

Guest Post by Don Ayotte

Are our values, lives, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness and values along with our Republic, on the world’s auction block?  Do we believe that our constitution is being eroded, one civil liberty at a time.  I believe they are.

I had questioned many times, just what had motivated our founding fathers to write our constitution that has withstood a two hundred year onslaught of attack to erode our citizens civil rights.

When I was studying at the University of Delaware, I studied the works of Political Philosopher, John Locke and found the answer that I had been seeking.

John Locke was born was born in 1632 and published the, “Second Treatise of Government,” in 1690.  It was his philosophy that the Kings and Queens of England did not possess the “divine right to rule.”

Locke also wrote that the power to govern must be obtained from the permission of the people and that the purpose of the government was to protect the natural rights of its citizens.  He further wrote that these natural rights were life, liberty and property and that all people had these rights, simply by being born.

He writes in, “Second Treatise of Government in Chapter 13:

And thus the community perpetually retains a supreme power of saving themselves from the attempts and designs of any body, even of their legislators, whenever they be so foolish, or so wicked, as to lay and carry on designs against the liberties and properties of the subject:  For no man or society of men, having a power to deliver up their preservation, or consequently the means of it, to the absolute will and arbitrary dominion of another.  When ever anyone shall go about to bring them into such a slavish condition, they will always have a right to preserve what they have not a power to part with and to rid themselves of those who invade this fundamental, sacred and unalterable law of self-preservation, for which they entered into society.”

One can easily see why America’s founding fathers sought out John Locke’s political philosophies as a cornerstone of their newly crafted Constitution and Bill Of Rights.  They clearly relied on these philosophies and at times, outright plagiarized Locke’s works, not that John Locke would mind.  If one reads his work, they will clearly parts of the constitution almost word for word.
Lately I have viewed many people writing or speaking of a second civil war or a revolution.  Each one of us must step back and decide if the principles of the constitution and the Bill of Rights has been forcibly or by slight of hand violated and if we can repair the damage already done, with legislation
A more recent political philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, writes in his work, “Civil Disobedience.”  “This American government, what is it, but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity; for a single man can bend it to his will.”

Has a single man bent our government to his will, clearly against the will of the people and if he did, is it our obligation to restore the republic to its original state?
The Federal Government seeks to erode our rights a little at a time, hoping that we won’t notice.  But they have made a grave mistake, the American people have noticed and they have had enough.  We must now decide if we can gain back our lost civil rights through our election system or we must follow the advice of John Locke and use whatever means possible to restore our Republic.

I would suggest that if the Supreme Court Justices legislate national law from the bench that they reread John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government.  I know they must have read it many times in law school   This man was the inspiration for the US Constitution and The Bill of Rights