WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Post-Thanksgiving Open Friday / Weekend Forum

No respite from the shootings on the streets of Wilmington, even on a holiday weekend...

Wilmington Police early Friday were investigating a fatal shooting along the 42-hundred block of North Market Street after three in the morning...

Late Friday: Another shooting, 6th & Madison Streets. It never ends!

And similarly, no end to the Chip Flowers stories...

State Treasurer Chip Flowers declares members of the Cash Management Policy Board should release documentation about their personal financial matters to show they don't have any conflicts-of-interest when making decisions about the state's $2 Billion portfoilo. You knew this was coming after Flowers, ever the bull-in-the-china-shop, called the Attorney General office's opinion about the board having sole jurisdiction over that portfolio, "corrupt". Flowers actually makes a valid point, but he's hardly in a position to argue that point. As I noted before, his critics can just say he's blowing smoke to deflect attention from his other problems. Better for a candidate running for Governor, or an influential state legislator. Whether such an arcane issue would seize the public's attention is another matter entirely. Before we're done, expect one or more lawsuits from Treasurer Flowers. Even Wilmington's Mayor Dennis Williams - in his budget battle with City Council - knew when to fold...

Speaking of lawsuits, the soon-to-be-shuttered Reach Academy for Girls has slapped a lawsuit against the state Department of Education, claiming sexual discrimination in DOE's decision to close Reach Academy at the end of the current academic year.

Loved ones of the Newtown victims say Adam Lanza's mom shares some of the blame for raising a murderer, irresponsibly stocking guns, etc. From the spreadsheets of mass murders to the blacked-out bedroom windows, they say Nancy Lanza looked the other way as her son was becoming increasingly unstable. They're starting a national "Parent Together" campaign to focus attention on mental stability, community connections, and gun safety.

Another blow for the roll-out of President Obama's health-care overhaul: Small businesses that had wanted to shop for health-insurance coverage at HealthCare.gov will now have to wait a full year, until November 2014. But small businesses can still go directly to insurers, or utilize a broker.

Despite the blow-up of filibuster limits, the NEW YORK TIMES reports Republican senators can still veto President Obama's judicial nominees through the Senate's "blue slip" custom, permitting senators to block nominations to judgeships associated with their states.

The Pizza Hut chain sparked condemnation when a ten-year veteran manager in Elkhart, Indiana, was canned for refusing to open his restaurant on Thanksgiving. But corporate officials now say - via Pizza Hut's Facebook page - that Tony Rohr should be rehired. Unclear if Rohr would reclaim his job.

That New York City cop who gained attention and praise a year ago when he purchased a pair of boots for a homeless man has been promoted to detective.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush blasted President Obama for "closing" the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. The ex-governor suggested the action was an attack against Roman Catholics who don't support the President's health-care overhaul. Actually, this is a distortion. The United States continues to maintain diplomatic ties with the Holy See. It's just that the diplomatic mission accredited to the Papacy is moving to a building within the larger U.S. diplomatic compound in Rome. Within that compound, in separate buildings: The U.S. Embassy to Italy and the U.S. Mission to U.N. offices in Rome. The State Department insists the move enhances both security and cost savings. Still, the National Republican Senatorial Committee crafted a petition saying "President Obama plans to close the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican."

The Netherlands becomes the latest country to lose its top credit rating, as Standard & Poors moved to downgrade the country as a result of its weakening economy. So, The Netherlands slips from AAA to AA+. Only three countries in the common currency area retain S&P's top grade of AAA: Finland, Luxembourg, and Germany.

Mainland China dispatched military planes over a disputed region of the South China Sea days after the United States, Japan, and South Korea flew military aircraft through that airspace. Chinese state media report Beijing will take "defensive emergency measures" if any aircraft flying through that airspace do not identify themselves. The dispute concerns airspace in the region of what the Japanese call the Senkaku Islands, and what the Chinese call the Diaoyu.

Seems like East and Southeast Asia are getting more unstable: About one thousand anti-government protesters invaded the Royal Thai Army headquarters in Bangkok. They're calling for the overthrow of the Thai prime minister after he survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

Ex Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee becomes the latest politico to give up his nationally-syndicated radio talk show which ran in the same time slot as a certain bombastic, right-wing talk show host...

Once advertised as the "comet of the century", Comet ISON apparently broke up during its slingshot run around the sun.

Posted at 8:22am on November 29, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 8:46am
"Ex Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee becomes the latest politico to give up his nationally-syndicated radio talk show which ran in the same time slot as a certain bombastic, right-wing talk show host..."

Of course, he still has his Fox News gig and is showing signs of preparing to run for something in the probable wake of both tea party and Obama administration implosions.

PS: Obama has made it official. Members of the Tea Party are called "tea baggers."

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Nov 29, 2013 8:54am
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

Jeb Bush gets it wrong. Below is the news story, from Religion News Service that is carried by Huff Post, that tells of the moving, not closing, of the U.S. Embassy for the Vatican. The move will save taxpayers 1.4 million dollars each year.

Once again Republicans, who love to rant about how the nation's debt is killing the U.S., and how we need to cut spending, end up sounding like hypocrites. The reason their words ring untrue is they and their TEA Party cohorts had no problem shutting down the government, which cost the taxpayers about 2 Billion Dollars, and now their complaint about moving the Vatican/U.S. Embassy which would save 1.4 million yearly clearly demonstrates their willingness to waste taxpayers' dollars when it suits THEIR political agenda.

This is the sort of thing I've mentioned in the past where I said the G.O.P./TEA party can win in 2014, IF they don't do stupid things. THIS is one of those stupid things. Strike One.

So this time around, those evil "tax-and -pend liberals" a.k.a. Obama and his Democrat Orchestra are the onestrying to cut unneeded spending. So in my score book it reads:

Obama/DEMS 2 G.O.P./TEA 1

2 represents the shut-down and this U.S. Embassy to the Vatican issue.

1 represents the Obamacare train-wreck in getting the computer system up and running. It's still early in the game, but the G.O.P./TEA folks are their own worse enemy.


Fri, Nov 29, 2013 10:38am
Seriously.... just think about it... Why shouldn't members of the Cash Management Policy Board release documentation about their personal financial matters to show they don't have any conflicts-of-interest when making decisions about the state's $2 Billion portfoilo?

Let us see how forthcoming they will be...

Seriously... think about it... They have complete control over $2 billion with no one, no one, no one, ever looking over their shoulder....

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 10:45am
As for the comet, it did go rather close to the sun.. I believe its exterior was calculated to hit over 5000 degrees F, making it kind of hard to keep an ice ball together...

But what a great idea for space travel. Wrap a space ship with a core of ice, aim for the sun, and use that ball of fire to release the ship from the ice, and slingshot it towards that solar system's civilized planet...

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 11:11am
"...claiming sexual discrimination in DOE's decision to close Reach Academy at the end of the current academic year."

Political correctness at work. Anytime anybody in a designated victim/entitlement group doesn't get what they want, they cry "discrimination." Such spoiled brats.

As long as the Vatican claims to be a sovereign nation, shouldn't all its clergy be required to register as agents of a foreign power?

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 2:01pm
Pizza Hut sells crap pizza. So do Dominos, Papa John's, Little Ceasar's and Godfather's (Herman Cain). No one who appreciates pizza would eat any of their stuff, especially since this area has some many Italian mom-and-pop joints selling the real thing.

I imagine Mr. Pizza works for one of those outfits. I'd guess Dominos, since Tom Monaghan is an extreme right-wing nut job and he sold out to Bain Capital (Mitt's boys, who also give us El Rushbo).

But some Pizza Hut franchise owner wanted to keep his store open on Thanksgiving. He, of course, undoubtedly stayed home for turkey and football.

But I have to wonder how many pizzas would he have sold yesterday? Have you ever gorged on turkey and trimmings and then had a craving for bad pizza (with cheese in the crust)? Have you ever ordered pizza on Thanksgiving? Have you ever even thought of ordering pizza on Thanksgiving?

I wonder if this SOB is going to make his people open up on Christmas, too?

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 2:46pm
Allan, I was intrigued by your statement acknowledging that Flowers was correct in assessing that control of our money perhaps should have better oversight. I wondered what you knew that I didn't.

Well, it is no secret that one of those on the board who is giving Flowers the most trouble is Dave Marvin. (For those not in the know, Dave Marvin used to manage DuPont's pension fund and now runs a global equity management firm here in Delaware.)

But what Allan apparently knew, and I just found out, was that this very same Dave Marvin was fined $976,980 dollars by the SEC for using what was known at that time, for using "soft dollars" to run an investment scheme....

(Go down to page 14) http://www.docstoc.com/docs/56257630/October-1-1999-issue-(dig100199pdf)

The very same Dave Marvin on the Cash Management Board that oversees $2 billion of Delaware's pension investments, is the very same Dave Marvin who "willfully violated sections (206-1) and(206-2) of the Advisors Act (1940) which outlines standards for all investment houses....

And is the very same Dave Marvin who "willfully aided and batted and caused" his firm's violations.

He consented to the fine without admitting or denying the items contained within, so there certainly seems to be a precedent for him doing the same with the money being entrusted to him by the state....

So what is being characterized as a pouty Treasurer by the News Journal, long known for protecting the public from ever knowing any shady dealings involving Big Money of Delaware, is actually perhaps a pouty Treasurer who is really on to something....

No one is watching Dave Marvin. We saw what happened when he thought no one was watching him before.

And this time don't expect Patty Blevins to drop everything to rescue him as she did last session. It seems Dave Marvin has made no secret of his hatred for unions, prevailing wage, and the public sector in general, and would love nothing better to have all unions dissolved immediately. He created an incident in one of the past board meetings when he insulted both government workers and labor unions (known supporters of Flowers) as being mentally "slow" or "retarded".

This would put Patty in the hard place of having to choose between either her union support, or one Dave Marvin. I would vote she considers union support the stronger.

A couple of quotes lifted from that meeting, Marving says "he didn't care about the operational needs of the State" when he insisted on a 50-50 split between liquidity and reserve/intermediate investment allocation (versus the past 40-60 split) and managed to get the Board to vote in his favor. What is revealing is all the "yes" votes came from the 5 private sector members, who no doubt, also hate unions and government workers."

Of course, once it becomes common knowledge that he previously didn't care about the over-billing his very own clients.... one can see why he wouldn't care either about this state that is hiring him to manage their employee's future pensions....

It appears there IS a loose cannon on the Cash Management Board, and that all the hoopla aimed at Flowers, is a diversion away from something more sinister...

My question to Allan... Is how on earth did you know?

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 2:55pm
I like this exchange back then, had forgotten it, and now am sharing...

"You have a treasurer who is a constitutional officer," Flowers said.

"That's the argument of the Sussex County sheriff. We're all constitutional officers," said Jeff Bullock, the Democratic secretary of state..


Fri, Nov 29, 2013 3:04pm
The News Journal reported (but didn't frame it very well) that in a year where the stock market has climbed 20% since the Biden Budget Deal went into effect, the Cash Management Board has lost over $600,000 of the public's funds....

How can that even be possible? Answer: a rat.

Those mutterings that the Cash Management Board is incompetent may not be hollow after all....

Sat, Nov 30, 2013 9:27am
Billsmith: You are correct in guessing that I work for Domino's. However, my employment with them has nothing to do with the political affiliation of Tom Monaghan, who I'm guessing is the current C.E.O.

Just like Pizza Hut, Domino's is franchise-owned, so my employment is based on the fact that the store manager from the local franchise hired me. Over the years, I've worked for store managers of all political stripes as well as some who don't have any particular political preference. In fact, whether or not my boss agrees with me about politics has never been a factor in relationships. I've had bad bosses who were Republicans and good bosses who were Democrats and vice-versa.

As far as corporate goes, that's located in Ann Arbor, Michigan and far removed from anything that happens here. I pay scant attention to corporate and until you mentioned this Monaghan guy; I had thought the C.E.O. was still Dave Brandon.

The b ottom line is that I work wherever God provides me a job. While Domino's may be right-wing, the post office is pretty far left politically although theoretically it's supposed to be neutral (LOL on that one). In the end, it's irrelevant.

Sat, Nov 30, 2013 9:32am
Bill: By the way, I do agree with you about the quality of corporate/franchise pizza vs. mom-and-pop pizza. It's like the difference between homemade and store-bought. Of course, the main factor in both situations has a lot to do with who makes the pizza. As with any food, the skills of the chef ultimately determine the eating experience.

Sat, Nov 30, 2013 9:40am
Oh, I just remembered something else. About 10 years ago, I made a proposal to my Domino's manager at the time, as a joke, of course, that we create and market the Domino's Thanksgiving turkey pizza. You slap a hand-tossed dough, top it with Turkey, stuffing, and gravy, then put another dough over the top of it and cut some holes, then bake in the conveyor oven which I believe has an average temperature of 645 degrees.

It should come out as a big turkey pot pie.

Sat, Nov 30, 2013 12:37pm
You know, Pizza, that Thanksgiving Pizza might be pretty good. I'd recommend a layer of mashed potatoes on the dough, with chunks of stuffing mixed in. Pieces of turkey and then swirls of gravy on top.

In my old neighborhood, the woman who ran a pizza shop used to experiment with different pizza offerings. She tried mashed potato pizza and it was pretty good. She also tried breakfast pizza with scrambled eggs on the crust and that was pretty good but both were a little too far out for most people. After she had a bypass, she started working on heart-healthy pizzas which were White pizzas with low-fat mozzarella and various veggies on a thin whole wheat crust. Those were very good and people went for those.

The best pizza I ever had was at Frank Pepe's in New Haven. A really thin, really crisp crust - almost like a bread stick. The main problem with Domino's and the rest is the lousy soft crust and the over-spiced but under tomatoed sauce. I guess the crust appeals to people who like Wonder Bread. Domino's started in Midwestern college towns delivering pizzas to dorms and frat houses for students with the late-night munchies. I guess they weren't too particular, as long as it was cheap and filling.

Tom Monaghan was the founder of Domino's. He has since sold the company to Bain Capital (and he sold the Detroit Tigers, ironically enough, to the guy who runs Little Caesar's). Now he spends his time and his money on anti-abortion campaigns and various right-wing Catholic and political groups.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Nov 30, 2013 2:27pm
You guys are making me hungry. Thanksgiving pizza sounds pretty good. I'm surprised that McDonald's hasn't come out with a McGobbler for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season.

Sat, Nov 30, 2013 10:26pm
I guess now that I've imagined it, I'll have to try to put it in some edible form. Thanks Bill for the additional information.

Sun, Dec 1, 2013 7:28am
There used to be a regional fast food chain called Bassett's Original Turkey that had a number of stores around and sold various turkey sandwiches and platters. They had a sort of Thanksgiving dinner sandwich that had turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce on bread, that I really liked. All but one of their locations seem to have closed. They still have a store in the Reading Terminal Market in Philly but apparently have dropped the Bassett's name (the guy who started it was a relative of the ice cream people). Mikey D and the other fast-food places have chicken sandwiches but somehow turkey (ahem) doesn't fly. ("As god is my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly.")

Another place where you could get Thanksgiving dinner year 'round was Boston Market (originally Boston Chicken) but they've closed most of their locations, too. McDonald's bought the chain at one point and the quality really suffered.

Sun, Dec 1, 2013 9:56pm
The reason why so many turkey places are no longer in business, is because most of the turkeys are in the Tea Party now.

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