I feel like a Kremlinologist. So there is this AP tidbit that Vice President and Dr. Biden are staying in Washington this weekend, which is rare since they usually go home to Delaware on the weekends. It goes unmentioned in the article, but obviously they are staying close to the Walter Reed Hospital, which is a quick trip up 16th Street from Massachusetts Avenue and the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory. We have to assume that Beau Biden is still admitted to that hospital, since we have no information to the contrary. The highlight of the AP article is that the Vice President golfed yesterday afternoon with the President. So Beau’s condition is serious enough that it has kept the Bidens in DC and Beau still in the hospital after four days, but not critical enough that the Vice President can’t go play golf.
It looks like the heavily Catholic Ireland has just become the first country on the planet to enact marriage equality by popular vote rather than by legislation, judicial order or royal decree. Probably because Irish Catholics are more intelligent and in tune with that Jesus said about homosexuality (i.e. nothing) than the conservative heirarchy that likes to look to Old Testament’s Leviticus than anything Jesus Christ said.
Ireland appears to have voted heavily in favor of allowing same-sex marriage in a historic referendum that marks a dramatic social shift in the traditionally Catholic country, government ministers and opponents of the bill said on Saturday. Final results are not expected until later in the day in a vote that would make Ireland the first country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote, just two decades after the country decriminalised homosexuality. State broadcaster RTE said the victory appeared to be overwhelming and government minister Kevin Humphreys predicted the margin would be two-to-one.
“I think it’s won,” Equality Minister Aodhan O’Riordain told Reuters at the main count center in Dublin. “The numbers of people who turned out to vote is unprecedented. This has really touched a nerve in Ireland today.”
Gay marriage is backed by all political parties, championed by big employers and endorsed by celebrities, all hoping it will mark a transformation in a country that was long regarded as one of the most socially conservative in Western Europe.
In this week’s address, the President commemorated Memorial Day by paying tribute to the men and women in uniform who have given their lives in service to our country.
In his weekly message, Governor Markell discusses a statewide effort to end homelessness among veterans in Delaware by the end of 2015.
House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst discusses the infrastructure improvement funding bill the House passed. The proposed Division of Motor Vehicles fee increases would raise $23.9 million that would fund infrastructure projects throughout Delaware. Many of the fees identified have not been increased in more than 20 years.
Some real good news to start the Memorial Day weekend. Some of the cuts were to positions that had previously been funded by Race To The Top but are now transitioning to the state. They actually cut $3.75 mill in bloat:
The Joint Finance Committee voted to eliminate 10 controversial, high-paid positions in the Department of Education to find more than $1.5 million in savings as they continued to mark up Markell’s $3.9 billion budget proposal.
Lawmakers on the budget-writing committee also reduced funding for additional education initiatives, including teacher preparation programs, data analysis and recruitment efforts.
They almost did even more, as a proposal to cut an additional $2 mill in “additional funding related to Race to the Top failed by a 7-5 vote.”
For the first time since polling began in 1999, Gallup found that there are more social liberals in the United States than social conservatives.
Gallup reported that the number of respondents who called themselves social liberals has increased to 31%, while the number of self-identified social conservatives has fallen to 30%. The number of Democrats who refer to themselves as social liberals jumped from 47% in 2014 to 53% in 2015. The number of Republicans who call themselves socially conservative has declined from 60% in 2014 to 53% in 2015.
The Wilmington City Council passed the budget for the next fiscal year — 7-6. Other than the 600K that Bud Freel made sure got added to deal with cameras and to be sure that the WPD could run an Academy if needed, this City Council passed a budget utterly free of any opportunity for asking for better accountability from the Williams Administration and utterly free from dealing with the big issues the city has: improved safety, accountability for programs and departments and a better reckoning of a projected surplus — $2M surplus even though this fiscal year will end with a $500K deficit.
The Tuesday Town Hall meeting had a couple of handouts, apparently. I only got one that didn’t make much sense, but there was a packet that I missed that had some additional data not on my handout, ostensibly showing the percent decrease in Class A crimes in the city. One of folks attending this meeting was Clayton Stacey, a Cool Springs resident who was brutalized in a robbery about a month ago. Mr. Stacey got one of these other handouts and he took a good look at the stats presented. And then he checked the math:
The fifth most Republican and conservative state in the Union — NEBRASKA —- yes, freaking Nebraska, voted with the dirty hippies and voted to repeal the death penalty. Hey, Trey Paradee, explain that! No bother, the Republicans did for you:
Republicans offered a variety of reasons for supporting the death penalty’s end, from the high cost of administering executions to the surprisingly uncommon idea that it’s important to be consistent in support for human life. “I’m pro-life from conception until when God calls somebody home,” state Sen. Tommy Garrett told the World-Herald. “I’m not going to quibble over innocent life versus those who are guilty for what they have done. This is a matter of conscience.”
Remember Rebecca Walker? She’s the former chair of the House Judiciary Committee who buried the death penalty repeal bill in her committee for most of 2013 and all of 2014.
Remember Rebecca Walker? She’s the former legislator who claimed she was running for reelection in 2014, had actually filed, waited until after the filing deadline, then withdrew her name, thus denying the Democratic voters in her district the right to choose her successor via primary. Remember why Rebecca Walker claimed she withdrew? She said that her work would not enable her to continue to serve. As if she just found that out right after the filing deadline.
Well, guess what ‘good fortune’ has been bestowed upon former State Rep. Rebecca Walker?
If you guessed a $96K state job that required no public posting and which reunites her with her police pals with whom she scuttled death penalty repeal, you would be correct.
Yesterday, Mayor Williams had his last Town Hall. I’ll say more about that in another post. But he said to WDEL yesterday:
Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams is making it clear he’s not a huge fan of the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission.
“What’s the big deal about this crime commission?” Williams posed on WDEL’s Delaware’s Morning News.
“Everybody that put a few dollars up, talked about this crime commission being so great,” Williams said. “Where were these people when I asked them to support Wilmington many years ago?”
But when the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission was authorized by the Governor, this is what he had to say:
“Since taking office in 2013, I have recognized the value and necessity of State assistance in fighting violent crime,” Williams said in a written statement. “I have consistently lobbied for Governor Markell and the State’s support in tackling the violent crime in Wilmington. I would like to thank the Governor and City Delegation for their steadfast support and commitment, as we work collectively on the issue of eradicating the crime and violence in our city.”
“Is there something about the left — and I am going to put the media in this category — that is obsessed with sex?”
— Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), quoted by the Texas Tribune, when asked about gay rights. Only the most sophmoric knuckle dragging idiot would equate promoting equality for all, including those who are gay, with an interest in sex. Indeed, Mr. Cruz has it reversed. It has been all of our experience, proven time and again, that those who are the most homophobic are usually in the closet, having all the gay sex they can. Those promoting “family Christian values” and condemning women’s rights and divorce are usually those who one to four mistresses on the side.
….and it is likely that is the way it will be. He will be released after the treatment is completed with no disclosure as to what his treatment was for, and then at the end of the summer he will announce officially his candidacy for Governor. But, despite the best efforts of the Biden camp and those who think his medical condition is none of our business, the News Journal has a poll up this morning, and the votes so far reveal that this is a matter of some debate. The question is framed in such a way that it assumes that if Beau Biden were currently in office as a public official, the public would undoubtedly have a right to know all about his medical condition.
From the News Journal:
Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden and a Democratic candidate for governor of Delaware in 2016, has been hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for an undisclosed illness.
The vice president’s office confirmed Tuesday that Beau Biden was undergoing treatment, but did not go into further details.
Alright. First things first. I really don’t think there is any Delawarean out there, save the truly evil conservatives among us who are already destined for Hell, who doesn’t wish Beau Biden the best of health, and have been wishing him a recovery from whatever it is he has been dealing with lo these many years now. I truly hope whatever Mr. Biden is getting treatment for is not serious and he is getting well.
And yes, in a perfect world, normally, we all are entitled to privacy in our private lives and concerning our medical treatments.
But, “undisclosed illness” and “did not go into further details?”
That has to stop. Now.
It is Primary Election Day in Philadelphia. The current Mayor, Michael Nutter, has served two full terms and is term limited. So with this being an open election, we have several notable candidates: former longtime District Attorney Lynne Abraham, City Councilman Jim Kenney, State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams, former City Solicitor Nelson Diaz and insane crazy man Milton Street (entitled brother of horrible former Mayor John Street). Until recently, this looked like a close contest between ex-City Councilor Jim Kenney and state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams. While labor is heavily backing Kenney, Williams is benefiting from a super PAC funded by wealthy pro-charter school businessmen. However, a recent independent poll gave Kenney a massive 42-15 lead, with former District Attorney Lynn Abraham also at 15, and no one has released any contradictory numbers.
This one is tomorrow, Tuesday May 19th at P.S. duPont. Please come out to ask the Mayor about the status of implementing the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission recommendations (some of these recommendations are largely in line with President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing report. Or just ask him about the political agendas that are somehow more proactive about the safety of Wilmingtonians than his own plan is. Handcuffs are optional for this event, but if you got ‘em, wear ‘em!
Nine people have died after a shootout between rival motorcycle gangs in Waco on Sunday, when gunfire erupted in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in the central Texas city.
Where is the White leadership on this? Why aren’t moderate Whites speaking out and condemning this? What is it about the white community that allows this culture of violence to flourish?
So you’ve heard me talk about the successes that Camden has had in bending the curve of their crime and violence issues — and today, President Obama travels to Camden to recommend the Camden Community Policing approach as a national model. This accompanies the release of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing report today:
The report endorsed Thomson’s view that “community policing cannot be a program, unit, strategy or tactic. It must be the core principle that lies at the foundation of a police department’s culture.
“The only way to significantly reduce fear, crime and disorder, and then sustain these gains is to leverage the greatest force multiplier: the people of the community,” Thomson testified.
I am personally loving that we have been discussing whether the Iraq War was right again, and I am loving how every single Republican, even Jeb Bush after some indecision, have declared that the last Republican President’s greatest legacy was nothing but a horrible mistake that should have never happened. Paul Krugman hails the opening of a much-needed and long-postponed debate about the Iraq disaster, made inevitable by Bush 3.0. E. J. Dionne, Jr. notes in his latest Washington Post column that “other hawks would rather see the was-the-Iraq-War-right question magically disappear because they know it’s a no-win for them.”
“Most Americans now think the war was ill-advised. Why remind them that most of the same people who are super hawks now brought them an adventure they deeply regret? Thus did the Wall Street Journal editorial page on Friday come out firmly and unequivocally in favor of — evasion. “The right answer to the question is that it’s not a useful or instructive one to answer, because statesmanship, like life, is not conducted in hindsight.” On the GOP side it may be that Jeb’s blundering is very bad news for Lindsey Graham and other Iraq war supporterts and equivocators, but good news for Rand Paul.
Rick Perry, the only potential candidate currently under indictment, reports that he will be throwing his hat in the ring shortly. When (if?) that happens, I’ll update the standings. In the meantime, someone put up this handy tracking page on Wikipedia.