This week’s photo is of my laptop after the cats have walked on it all night, and my handsome Mr. Sleuthy. His name is actually The Rev. Dr. Lt. Col. Zachariah Aloysius McSleuthberger III Esq. JD PhD. I can’t begin to count the number of grammar rules this name breaks, but we don’t care. My son named him five years ago, and we call him Sleuthy for short.
I think my cold/virus/creeping crud is finally getting better. Still have a little bit of a cough, but the discharge from my eyes is decreasing, and I feel a little more together. Tomorrow I’ll be able to get back to the gym. I went Thursday last week, but found I was still too sick. I also found that Will caught it, so he was sick as well. Hopefully, things will be back to normal next week. Whatever this is, everyone has it.
The NCAA Basketball Tournament, aka March Madness, is in full swing. The Elite Eight is being pared down to the Final Four this weekend. Gonzaga, one of my #1 seeds, is going to the Final Four. My other #1 seed, North Carolina, tries to advance later today. The other top seeds, Villanova and Kansas, are already out. Oregon looks good. They upset Kansas. A friend and I always compete in this tournament. We get the initial bracket of 64. I pick half the odd numbers (being sure to leave him at least two of the top seeds), he picks half of the even numbers. We each get the remnants of the other, and in the end, whoever had the champion in their original list wins. It’s a real high-stakes competition. The winner gets a bottle of water! LOL!
Politically, the questions about Russia and its connection to SCROTUS and his minions just won’t go away, much to the dismay of SCROTUS. Last week SCROTUS, his minions, and some congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan put a lot of pressure on conservative Republicans to vote for TrumpCare. However, in the end they did not have the votes and they pulled the bill before a vote could be taken.
Now we are hearing about a possible deal between former national security advisor Michael Flynn and the FBI – I’ve seen it called “flipping” on SCROTUS. However, I haven’t seen it from what I would consider a solid source yet – WashPo, NYTimes, Wall St Journal, or another established news source. I’m always very careful about “fake news” sources. We will see if this story has any traction. I’m not yet to the point of believing it.
More distressing personally is our Governor’s (his name is Carney) proposed “budget reset”. That’s his name for it. He wants to eliminate not only 200 currently vacant State positions, but also impose a hiring freeze that will apply to positions that come open going forward. The freeze is already in place. I have two unfilled positions in my area that will have to remain vacant. He also wants to eliminate the “dual state share”, which should make my paycheck go down by over $100 and effectively takes away one of my husband’s state benefits. The State has, for years, been able to cover two State employees for the price of one policy when those two employees are married to each other, and now they want to make a profit off of that arrangement. He said State employees are going to pay more for their health insurance in general, and all this probably means we aren’t going to get a raise. He didn’t even mention our salaries in his address.
As upset as I am I must say, I get it. This is State spending that we are talking about, and the first thing hit is always that over which they have the most control – their labor force. What irritates me the most, besides the fact that it will decrease my paycheck, is the hypocrisy of the whole thing.
Carney says it will “hurt his heart” to ask for these changes. Well, maybe, but it certainly isn’t going to hurt his wallet, his personal welfare, or his standard of living. That result is reserved for people like me and my family. Carney says these proposals will be a “shared sacrifice”. Ok, then what about education (gets a budget increase) and Corrections (gets a budget increase). Please tell me exactly who is sharing this sacrifice besides a bunch of State employees who are just like me? Sure, there are proposals that affect other individual citizens, like the increase in State income tax, but they also affect me. There is no proposal that leaves out the State employees, except those directed at corporations.
What it boils down to is if you work for the State you get hit twice – as a State employee and as an individual citizen of Delaware. Let me refine that statement. As a member of the “rank and file” State employees. The Governor and the legislators have nothing to worry about, except re-election. I can’t wait.
Until next week….