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Sunday Daily Delawhere [1.25.15]

Filed in Delaware by on January 25, 2015 0 Comments
Sunday Daily Delawhere [1.25.15]

From Shizz Murray on Flickr.

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Saturday Open Thread [1.24.15]

Filed in National by on January 24, 2015 0 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [1.24.15]

Douthat imagines how the left and right will respond to the president:

[Obama’s] influence over Clinton’s campaign will depend on economic trends and foreign policy developments as well as her own choices: If he’s climbed to a 47-48 percent approval rating by early 2016, I wouldn’t expect there to be any daylight between his agenda and her platform; if he falls back toward 40 percent (or drops below) amid some unlooked-for crisis, then no presidential speech is likely to constrain Hillary from trying to charting a more post-Obama course.

Meanwhile, the future relevance of his stab at a middle class agenda will be determined in part by whatever the G.O.P. comes up with for its post-Obama blueprint. If you contrast what was on offer last night with some of the ideas that, say, Utah Senator Mike Lee has proposed, there’s a very interesting right-left debate to be had around higher education reform, tax reform (family-friendly and otherwise), and other issues as well. But maybe the eventual Republican nominee will have a very different game plan, and the big clashes will end up happening elsewhere. Or maybe the mere fact that Obama has touched these issues will prompt the right to retreat to “safer” (that is, staler) ground.

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The Weekly Addresses

Filed in Delaware, National by on January 24, 2015 1 Comment

President Obama:

Governor Markell:

The General Assembly:

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Saturday Daily Delawhere [1.24.15]

Filed in Delaware by on January 24, 2015 0 Comments
Saturday Daily Delawhere [1.24.15]

The Sussex County Courthouse, at The Circle and Market Street in Georgetown. The courthouse was built in 1839, and the portico and tower were added in 1914. Photo by xzmattzx.

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Friday Open Thread [1.23.15]

Filed in National by on January 23, 2015 4 Comments
Friday Open Thread [1.23.15]

Ed Kilgore:

In conservative-land, you see, Obama’s first election was a fluke and his second a calamitous accident, both canceled by the ensuring midterms and both destined to be remembered as incidental interruptions of the Long March of Movement Conservatism towards total power. The idea that 2008 and 2012 are just as significant as 2010 and 2014 (maybe a bit more significant insofar as far more Americans participated) is outrageous to the Right, and so Obama mentioning them was the defiant act of a political nonentity.

Beyond that, the basic framing of Obama’s remarks on the economy left Republicans even deeper in the trap they’ve been in ever since conditions began improving. The main criticism available to them for the performance of the economy is the one Democrats (and Obama himself) have been articulated: sluggish wage growth and growing inequality. But Republicans have little or no agenda to deal with that beyond the usual engorge-the-job-creators stuff dressed up with attacks on the few corporate welfare accounts they’ve agreed to oppose, and then the Keystone XL Pipeline. On this last point, Obama was very clever in dismissing Keystone as one controversial infrastructure project we’re spending too much time fighting over as hundreds of others languish. It made Joni Ernst’s plodding Official Response sound all the more foolish for spending so much time on that one project.

Ezra Klein says that if Mitt Romney was President right now, and we had all of this good economic news, the applause would never have ended on Tuesday night, and Brian Beutler says Republicans would have “draped him in Reagan’s cloak, and the public would have warmed once again to the kinds of policies that George W. Bush’s presidency briefly discredited.”

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Delaware General Assembly Post-Game Show: Week of Jan. 20-22, 2015

Filed in Delaware by on January 23, 2015 3 Comments
Delaware General Assembly Post-Game Show: Week of Jan. 20-22, 2015

OK, I’ve been putting it off long enough. I suppose I should briefly discuss Governor Markell’s State of the State Address.  Markell states in the address that he is open to all sorts of proposals for bridging the infrastructure funding shortfall, but he’s not gonna lead on this, he’s gonna wait until the General Assembly comes up with something, um, concrete. He also embraced Matt Denn’s proposals for addressing crime and its causes, particularly in Wilmington. And he supported a (wait for it) fact-based task force (as opposed to other task forces). Well, a ‘commission’, not a task force. So commissions are fact-based. Task forces are not. Got it.

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Alleged Plot to Kill Matt Denn Disclosed

Filed in Delaware by on January 23, 2015 0 Comments
Alleged Plot to Kill Matt Denn Disclosed

Wild stuff via Celia Cohen’s blog:

Matt Denn and Ted Kittila, opponents in the race for attorney general, had another bizarre connection that had nothing to do with the election.

Kittila was the lawyer for a jailed insurance executive accused of plotting to kill Denn.

h/t Nancy Willing for linking

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The Vote Tracker, January 23, 2015

Filed in Delaware by on January 23, 2015 3 Comments
The Vote Tracker, January 23, 2015

The Vote Tracker is a joint project between Delaware Liberal and the Progressive Democrats for Delaware (PDD). Each week we will be keeping track of how our General Assembly votes on bills of progressive or liberal interest. Now, this chart does not follow all the legislation that has been filed. We don’t report on perfunctory […]

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Friday Daily Delawhere [1.23.15]

Filed in Delaware by on January 23, 2015 0 Comments
Friday Daily Delawhere [1.23.15]

The Delaware Health and Social Services’ Herman Holloway Sr. Campus, on US Route 13 in Minquadale. The campus was originally the Delaware State Hospital, and the Main Building in the campus, as seen here, was built in 1895. Photo by xzmattzx.

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Are voters in the 20th represented by a certified whackjob?

Filed in National by on January 22, 2015 39 Comments
Are voters in the 20th represented by a certified whackjob?

The evidence points to – yes. The Cape Gazette Reports that at his latest January constituent coffee meeting,Rep. Smyk expressed concerns that the State Police and Delaware National Guard are not up to the task of ensuring order in the event of some “major occurrence.” And that these agencies are in need of reinforcement from a whackjob militia composed of local whackjobs.

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Proof: Republicans Incapable Of Leading

Filed in International, National by on January 22, 2015 8 Comments
Proof:  Republicans Incapable Of Leading

Barely starting their majority rule in this new Congress, the Republicans, not satisfied with a visionless, utterly barren domestic policy are now usurping the Constitutional powers of the Executive branch in foreign affairs/policy.

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Listen here to the Governor’s State of the State Address

Filed in Delaware by on January 22, 2015 1 Comment
Listen here to the Governor’s State of the State Address

You can listen live at WDDE or WDEL. You can also watch the live stream of the address inside….

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Thursday Open Thread [1.22.15]

Filed in National by on January 22, 2015 0 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [1.22.15]

The National Journal quotes a Republican Congressman, Rep. Charlie Dent, on how horribly the first weeks of the new Congressional session are going for the GOP:

“I prefer that we avoid these very contentious social issues,” said moderate Rep. Charlie Dent, reprising comments he gave in the closed-door conference meeting. “Week one, we had a speaker election that did not go as well as a lot of us would have liked. Week two, we got into a big fight over deporting children, something that a lot of us didn’t want to have a discussion about. Week three, we are now talking about rape and incest and reportable rapes and incest for minors. … I just can’t wait for week four.”

In week 4, you got owned by the President on national television.

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The State of the State.

Filed in National by on January 22, 2015 1 Comment
The State of the State.

Governor Markell previewed his State of the State speech that he will deliver this afternoon to WDEL’s Amy Cherry. Governor Markell said his top priorities will remain centered around economic development, education and effective governance.

“Certainly, the job growth over the last year has been really good, fourth fastest in the country, 24 straight months, where it’s been strong relative to the rest of the country,” he said.

Markell said he’ll continue to build on that progress along with progress made on education and environmental issues. Without getting specific, the governor said he’ll revisit themes you heard in last year’s State of the State.

I’d like to know what progress he thinks was made on education. More inside…

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Picking the 2015 Super Bowl winner using my never fail “which mascot would win in a fight method”

Filed in National by on January 22, 2015 2 Comments
Picking the 2015 Super Bowl winner using my never fail “which mascot would win in a fight method”

After six years, the science of “which mascot would win in a fight” continues to confound the experts with a 100% success rate. That’s right,  6 for 6 Bitches!  Suck it Terry Bradshaw!

Anyhoo…let’s take a look at Super Bowl XLIX (official pronunciation – “Super Bowl Ex-licks”).

This could be a tough one.  A minute man style colonial militia “Patriot” vs. Bird.  Frankly I was rooting for Packers vs Colts because that would have been dead easy.  But as Dick Cheney once said, “You may pray for defenseless victims and the easy snuff out of a bewildered child or an enfeebled old lady, but in the end you get what you get.”

Here is what I said about the Seahawks last year….

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Thursday Daily Delawhere [1.22.15]

Filed in Delaware by on January 22, 2015 0 Comments
Thursday Daily Delawhere [1.22.15]

St. Georges Bridge with the Roth Bridge in the background, by the Flying Inn on Flickr.

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Strine v. Lavelle

Filed in National by on January 21, 2015 4 Comments
Strine v. Lavelle

I remember back with Governor Markell nominated Chief Justice Leo Strine, some wrote that Strine may be too brash to fill the normally stoic and silent role of a Delaware Chief Justice. I thought of that when I heard that a war of words has erupted today between Senate Minority Leader Greg Lavelle (R) and Chief Justice Strine.

[Lavelle] called out [Strine] on the floor of the Delaware Senate[!!!], saying Strine owes law enforcement an explanation, “if not an apology,” for comments on Monday that Lavelle said inappropriately compared Delaware’s rate of incarceration to North Korea.

Strine delivered the remarks to a Chase Center crowd on Monday at a Delaware State Bar Association breakfast honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The chief justice said Delaware can’t “incarcerate our way to public safety” and noted “shocking disparities” for blacks in Delaware.

Strine added, “You don’t want to be in a state where incarceration rates are associated with North Korea.”

Lavelle wants Strine to apologize for that? Pardon my french, Mr. Lavelle, but go fuck yourself. The Chief Justice owes no apology to anyone. You, however, owe an apology to all Delaware citizens for trying to create a false controversy. Strine’s office bitchslapped Lavelle as well with the following statement inside….

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Wednesday Open Thread [1.21.15]

Filed in National by on January 21, 2015 19 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [1.21.15]

Andrew Sullivan, in remarks prior to the Speech, congratulated President Obama for showing the Democratic party where their cajones actually were located.

I have to say that, as rumors and reports came in last week that Obama was going to propose a straightforward redistribution from the mega-mega-rich to the struggling middle classes, I could scarcely believe it. I mean: how often does the Democratic party actually exercise solid pro-active political judgment? How often do they seize the policy initiative from Republicans? How often do they propose things thay passionately believe in and unabashedly direct the message to the vast majority of Americans treading water in rougher and rougher seas? How often does a winning Congressional party get effectively marginalized in the public debate just after a stunning mid-term win?

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Delaware’s Tax Structure is not something to celebrate.

Filed in Delaware by on January 21, 2015 45 Comments
Delaware’s Tax Structure is not something to celebrate.

State Representative Bryon Short was on Facebook over the weekend highlighting this study that argues that Delaware has the best tax system in America, in that it is the least regressive (i.e. taxes the poor and lower and middle classes of income earners more than the top earners). I thought to myself, how the hell could that be? Someone early $60,000 pays the same tax rate as someone making $6 million under the state income tax scheme.

What I was forgetting is the “no sales tax.” Sales and other consumption taxes are very regressive because they fall most disproportionately on the poor. And that is the sole reason we are the least regressive tax system in America.

What the report ignores is how regressive our income tax structure is. And there is something Democrats in the General Assembly can do about that.

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State of the Union Reaction

Filed in National by on January 21, 2015 16 Comments
State of the Union Reaction

We have the Drop Mic Moment and more of my favorite moments from last night’s State of the Union speech inside. We also have some reactions from the punditry… like this:

Andrew Sullivan: “This is a speech that revealed to us the president we might have had without the extraordinary crises – foreign and domestic – he inherited. I’ve always believed in his long game and in his bent toward pragmatism over ideology. Events can still upend things, but this is a president very much shaping the agenda past his own legacy. He’s showing Hillary Clinton the way, and has the midterms to point to as the result of the defensive crouch. If his standing improves still further, he will box her in, and she’ll have to decide if she’s going to be a Wall Street tool and proto-neocon or a more populist and confident middle class agenda-setter. One of his best. And for the first time in his six years, he has the economic winds behind him.”

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Wednesday Daily Delawhere [1.21.15]

Filed in National by on January 21, 2015 0 Comments
Wednesday Daily Delawhere [1.21.15]

Weathered Pier on the C&D Canal, by the Flying Inn on Flickr.

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The State of the Union

Filed in Delaware by on January 20, 2015 2 Comments

Press play, as the stream is now live with highlights of the past year and other pre-SOTU events. You can watch the speech here, and you also join us for a discussion of and real time reaction to the speech at our Live Blog. To join our Live Blog, click on the word “Live Blog” in the main navigation bar underneath the banner logo.

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I feel like a Kremlinologist.

Filed in National by on January 20, 2015 24 Comments
I feel like a Kremlinologist.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Delaware yesterday to give a speech at a Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast in Wilmington on repairing the breach between police and the African American community. And the News Journal, in their story on the Vice President’s speech today, showed the following pictures of the former Attorney General and future alleged gubernatorial candidate Beau Biden, who was present for his father’s speech but did not speak himself.

Photos are courtesy of Jennifer Corbett of the News Journal. The side profiles of Mr. Biden are concerning. I hate that I have to study every picture of Beau Biden after his rare public appearances to judge how his health is. I hate that I have to wonder about his health at all. As someone who had to endure a health scare last year, I understand how important privacy is. But then again, I am not a supposed candidate for Governor. Nor was I in public office when I got sick. Just tell us. We are adults. We can handle it.

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Tuesday Open Thread [1.20.15]

Filed in National by on January 20, 2015 14 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [1.20.15]

The President’s State of the Union speech is tonight and we will not only be hosting our live chat, but also the speech itself, both here in the Open Thread (in the video box below) and in the chat thread. The White House has already let it be known that the President is going to call for a tax on the wealthy to fund middle class tax breaks. John Nichols at the Nation lays out the plan, which I think the GOP is going to have a hard time fighting. They will of course, but I don’t envy them.

This is not a radical plan. It redistributes a very small amount of wealth, and most of that wealth will be steered right back into the economy by working families, who truly drive the economy. Indeed, to get a sense of how far we have fallen in the previous three decades in the desire to fellate our billionaire masters, this Obama proposal will only return the capital gains tax rate to the level it was when Ronald Reagan was President. And, according to Booman , it proves how President Obama is different from the last two term Democratic President saddled with a hostile and Republican Congress in the last years of his Presidency.

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Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Week of Jan. 20-23, 2015

Filed in Delaware by on January 20, 2015 8 Comments
Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Week of Jan. 20-23, 2015

While the General Assembly awaits Governor Markell’s State of the State address this Thursday, we already know what won’t be in the governor’s speech: There will be no proposed income tax increase; there will be no proposed gas tax increase.  We know that Jack’s millionaire buds have convinced him that they would suffer if they had to pay even a penny more to fund government. So, Jack has already announced that he won’t be asking the wealthy to sacrifice.  And, in a gesture that is, um, ungubernatorial, Markell has whined that, since the General Assembly turned its collective noses up at his gas tax proposal last year, he won’t propose anything to close the gap in the state’s infrastructure budget.  He’ll just wait for the General Assembly to come up with…something. If only he’d take that approach with public education.  His legacy grows more undistinguished by the day.

Perhaps this is the week that Alex Pires gets his customized banking legislation passed. If not, then next week will be the week It’s already passed the House unanimously. As Nancy Willing pointed out, this bill was introduced at the behest of Alex Pires, and it will only benefit Pires’ bank. The article further points out that this may not be the first time that Pires has had undue influence on the General Assembly.  Let me point out the obvious: If you or I were disadvantaged by some ‘arcane’ statute, do you think we could get the Speaker to sponsor it, fast-track it, and get it through the General Assembly within a week or two?  And just because the Bank Commissioner, who largely does the bidding of the banks, says it’s ‘arcane’, is it really arcane?  Or is it just an impediment to a connected businessman who doesn’t want to wait in line and rarely does?  Whether the bill deserves passage on its merits is hardly the point.  The point is that representative government does not represent most of us.  But it DOES represent people with lots of clout, regardless of how they accumulated it. Which is why Alex Pires will get his banking bill.

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