Archive for June, 2014

‘It’s a Shore Thing’ #3: Time for some traffic problems

Filed in National by on June 30, 2014 0 Comments

Shore beach traffic New Jersey bed and breakfast Tornoe cartoonThe Featherstones just received an email from an anonymous Christie staffer which reads, “Time for some traffic problems.” Check out episode 3 of “It’s a Shore Thing.”

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BREAKING: Hobby Lobby Ruling Today In

Filed in National by on June 30, 2014 69 Comments

I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m leaning towards the Supreme Court, yet again, not doing their job.  My guess, and I could very well be wrong, is that they rule in favor of Hobby Lobby, but pull a Bush v Gore cop out – meaning that the enforcers of the law of the […]

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Mon., June 30, 2014

Filed in Delaware by on June 30, 2014 4 Comments

The Longest Day. Here’s what a final day is usually like. Legislators drift in, and sessions generally begin around 4 pm or so. Dinner break a couple hours later. Because of, um, unfortunate instances of overindulgence in the past, members and staff generally dine in Leg Hall. In the past, lobbyists have paid for dinner. […]

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Monday Daily Delawhere [6.30.14]

Filed in Delaware by on June 30, 2014 4 Comments
Monday Daily Delawhere [6.30.14]

A garden entrance in the People’s Republic of Arden. Photo by xzmattzx.

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Late Night Video — Jon Stewart Explains the Reality of Sexual Assault on Campus to You

Filed in National by on June 29, 2014 58 Comments

Right:

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Why Isn’t John Carney Supporting H.R.1852, the Email Privacy Act?

Filed in Delaware, National by on June 29, 2014 3 Comments

Since the Supremes pretty clearly told law enforcement that they needed to get a warrant to search your cell phone, there has been renewed attention on H.R.1852, the Email Privacy Act. Introduced by Representative Kevin Yoder [R-KS-3] in May 2013, this law would revise the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, requiring subpoenas to search emails, no matter how long they had been stored (they can now look at email stored for more then 180 days without a warrant) and allowing ISPs to communicate to the targets that their emails were requested by law enforcement. As of this writing (6.29.2014), John Carney has not joined the 220 Representatives (138 R, 82 D — BIPARTISANSHIP!) who are looking to refine the due process around law enforcement looking at your emails.

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Sunday Open Thread [6.29.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on June 29, 2014 5 Comments

I had a great time last night and it was great to see everyone! Hope we’ll do another DL get-together soon.

Here are two long reads for this great Sunday Morning — this piece (in Politico, but may be the best thing they’ve ever published) is from Nick Hanauer — firmly ensconced in the 1% — talking about the trainwreck to come if income inequality isn’t dealt with. This is a brilliant — and scathing — piece. He reminds us that this kind of income inbalance is at the fulcrum of alot of painful upheaval, that supply-side economics isn’t working, and that those business interests who continue to agitate for supply-side policy are arguing for long-term failure.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution. [...]

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Sunday Daily Delawhere [6.29.14]

Filed in Delaware by on June 29, 2014 0 Comments
Sunday Daily Delawhere [6.29.14]

The Cullen Bridge at the Indian River Inlet north of Bethany Beach. Photo by xzmattzx.

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Saturday Daily Delawhere [6.28.14]

Filed in Delaware by on June 28, 2014 0 Comments
Saturday Daily Delawhere [6.28.14]

The Procession of the Saints through Little Italy in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo taken by xzmattzx.

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The case for Chip Flowers

Filed in National by on June 27, 2014 48 Comments

There is no case for voting for Chip Flowers. However, I think there can be a case for voting against Sean Barney. For all his merits (and his merits are many) he is still a Carper man through and through. Do we really need anther mobbed up Carper guy on a glide path to the promised land of corporate back-scratch-a-palooza?

I probably will not run against Carney. I don’t have the guts or the time. If I don’t run, I will not have any way to register my disgust with the corporatist Democrats who run Delaware. The one vanishingly small gesture I can make is to vote against Tom Carper’s pick for treasurer.

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Hey! Don’t Forget the DL Get-Together This Saturday!

Filed in Delaware by on June 27, 2014 0 Comments

Well… in case you’ve forgotten… Saturday, June 28th 7:00pm Firestone’s (Wilmington Riverfront) If you haven’t RSVP’d in the comments (not that it’s necessary!)… have at it!

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Friday Open Thread [6.27.14]

Filed in National by on June 27, 2014 11 Comments

Even Fox News is now laughing at Michelle Bachmann.

For those who cannot bear to watch Fox News or hear Bachmann’s voice (I am with you… nails on a chalkboard), here is some quotes from Think Progress:

During an interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Cavuto belittled the effort as “an enormous waste of effort” and “a political football,” suggesting that President George W. Bush used similar executive authority. The segment devolved into a shouting match, with Cavuto laughing off Bachmann’s indignation about Obama’s use of executive powers.

“It just seems to me like an enormous waste of effort,” Cavuto said, at first gently, trying to chide Bachmann and her Tea Party Republican colleagues in Congress to do something, you know, governance-related for the American people. “It just seems to me there’s so much wrong here, this finger-pointing—’We’re gonna drag your ass to court, we’re gonna do this’— just do something, you hear what I’m saying?”

Bachmann: This is what we should do now. What we should do now is defund the executive branch when we have the option—I just ran across the street because we’re voting on funding for the executive branch all summer long. Cut it. Make it hurt. Because if they don’t have money, they don’t have power…

Cavuto: Think about what you’re saying. Defund the executive branch? Congresswoman! If Democrats had said to you, ‘We’re going to defund President Bush,’ you would laugh them out, and so you should have… I think the Democrats are in their right mind to laugh you out now. Defund them?! [shakes head] …Oh man oh man oh man oh man. Rome’s burning and you’re filing!

Defunding? Is Michelle Bachmann aware that the President of the United States has to sign anything that the unified Congress (the House and the Senate) passes before it takes affect as law?

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Massachusetts Buffer Zone From Inside Their Own Buffer Zone

Filed in National by on June 27, 2014 43 Comments
Supreme Court Strikes Down Massachusetts Buffer Zone From Inside Their Own Buffer Zone

Can we start making Supreme Court Justices go on field trips?  Because it’s obvious they have never witnessed what goes on outside of an abortion clinic.  Perhaps we can simply demand that they look in a mirror, since the buffer zone around the Supreme Court (one of the most publicly owned areas in the country) is massive.  Why does that buffer zone exist?  Why do they afford themselves and the people who work in that building protection from sidewalk counselors?  Why shouldn’t they be counseled when they arrive at work?  For that matter, why can’t we have sidewalk counselors at polling sites?  At military funerals?  Why are these petitioners/sidewalk counselors considered harassers and a threat when “pro-lifers” – who have a history of harassment and violence are not?  Consistency, please.

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‘It’s a Shore Thing’ #2: Packing up for the Shore

Filed in National by on June 27, 2014 1 Comment

Shore the beach, Down the Shore Bed and Breakfast Tornoe cartoonThe Featherstones pack up everything and prepare for their journey to the Shore. Check out episode 2 of “It’s a Shore Thing.”

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Delaware Political Weekly: June 21-27, 2014

Filed in Delaware by on June 27, 2014 9 Comments
Delaware Political Weekly: June 21-27, 2014

Yes, Chris Coons has a Republican challenger. His name is <strong>Carl Smink</strong>. Here's what I know. He's filed, but hasn't announced.  He's from Milton. His website is under construction.  He has written a few op-eds, or maybe letters to the editor, for the Cape Gazette, none of which are readily available unless you're a subscriber. He <strong>IS, </strong>however,  a "Drill, Baby, Drill" kinda guy who hates socialism. Ok.

Two Kent County state reps may not even make it to November, and I must say I'm surprised. Both <strong>Harold Peterman (33rd RD) </strong>and <strong>Don Blakey (34th RD) </strong>are being challenged. Peterman's opponent is <strong>Charles Postles</strong>, who appears to be the chair of…the <strong>33rd Republican RD Committee. </strong>

Blakey's challenger is <strong>Lyndon Yearick</strong>,  who doesn't fit a Tea Party profile, at least not on the surface. Active in the United Way, mentoring programs,  and also the Chair of the 34th RD, Yearick looks like the kind of candidate R's looking to restore credibility to their Party would seek out. He's currently the Maryland/Delaware Campus Director for Kaplan Test Prep. He has an MBA from Penn State (OK, now <strong>that's </strong>a cult).  <a href="http://www.yatedo.com/p/Lyndon+Yearick/normal/a5ff349a0ada08c4fdcb0cf7b1c61be8">By far, one of the more  interesting candidate profiles I've come across. </a>

My question is this: Why would two RD chairs primary sitting state legslators? Usually, the legislators themselves have a huge say in who the RD chair is. <strong>Is it possible that Peterman and/or Blakey are retiring even though they've filed?</strong> One would think so. C'mon Kent County, help me out here.

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Friday Daily Delawhere [6.27.14]

Filed in Delaware by on June 27, 2014 0 Comments
Friday Daily Delawhere [6.27.14]

Some more Italian Festival at St. Anthony’s in Wilmington. Photo taken by xzmattzx.

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Thursday Open Thread [6.26.14]

Filed in National by on June 26, 2014 8 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [6.26.14]

It’s World Cup Game Day for the Americans and the Germans. So you should be out watching the game right now. Your boss is.

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., June 26, 2014

Filed in Delaware by on June 26, 2014 34 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., June 26, 2014

The Senate approved a new Supreme Court Justice, Karen Valihura, and David Small as DNREC Secretary. I can’t let this go without a comment about Justice Carolyn Berger‘s resignation from the Delaware Supreme Court and her seemingly ‘injudicious’ comments. I don’t know it she’s right on the specifics of Markell not taking her seriously, but she’s right on point when it comes to, well, I guess the operative word is ‘paternalism’, when it comes to women appointees to judgeships.

When I first started working in Dover, the operative word was ‘chauvinism’. I’ll leave it to others to decide whether paternalism is a step up from chauvinism. To me, it’s ‘same old wine in a brand new bottle’. From Philadelphia Business Journal:

Berger’s situation outlines a concern in some quarters in Delaware that women do not have enough of a role on the judicial branch. Berger said women have advanced on the state’s family court, superior court and court of common pleas. She is also the only female to serve on the Court of Chancery, which deals with business litigation.

“Family court is the only court ever to have a woman chief judge,” Berger said. “The court of chancery has had no women judges for the past 20 years, despite the fact that several well-qualified women have applied in the past. And I’ve been the only woman on the supreme court. Many other states have more than one woman justice, and in several jurisdictions, women justices outnumber male justices.”

Maybe it’s the same menfolk arguing that Delaware’s courts are the nation’s most prestigious who, in their own paternalistic minds, don’t want the wimmenfolk messing with that reputation. Perhaps the wimmenfolk who are assuming the leadership role in the State Senate just might have something to say about this moving forward. I hope so. But, I digress. You can as well. In the comments section.

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Thursday Daily Delawhere [6.26.14]

Filed in Delaware by on June 26, 2014 15 Comments
Thursday Daily Delawhere [6.26.14]

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington’s Rodney Square. Photo by xzmattzx.

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It’s Baaaack: The Domino Theory And Iraq/Syria

Filed in International by on June 25, 2014 5 Comments
It’s Baaaack: The Domino Theory And Iraq/Syria

I’ve lived long enough to see now three iterations of the old Domino Theory; it goes something like…if we allow a country to fall, it will spiral into a cascade of other nearby countries to follow suit and be taken over by nefarious forces.

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Check out my new webcomic ‘It’s a Shore Thing’

Filed in National by on June 25, 2014 7 Comments

It's a Shore Thing Tornoe cartoonToday, my amazingly-funny wife Kristen and I launched our new webcomic, “It’s a Shore Thing,” over at the super-cool Newsworks.org.

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Wednesday Open Thread [6.25.14]

Filed in National by on June 25, 2014 13 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [6.25.14]

So the teabaggers were all whiny last night because their favorite Nazi candidate, Chris McDaniel, lost to Sen. Thad Cochran (R) in their Republican runoff in Mississippi. The outcome was something of a surprise, as polling of Republican likely voters, which I have posted here over the past weeks, showed McDaniel leading anywhere from 2 to 10 points. But that was the key: Republican likely voters. The conventional wisdom for the runoff was that if Cochran could somehow woo African American Democrats to vote for him in the runoff, he could win. It was a daunting proposition, since Cochran spent the last three decades doing everything he could to make life as difficult as possible on his African American constituents. And yet, that is precisely what happened.

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General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., June 25, 2014

Filed in National by on June 25, 2014 12 Comments
General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., June 25, 2014

We also know that the General Assembly will find some way to waste money on the casinos. Casinos that are in the shape they’re in due to disastrous business decisions by its oligarch owners. Didja see the latest?   Read the article carefully and see if I come to the same conclusion you do.  Those supporting the latest casino bailout, including Jack Markell, are now proposing to use ‘one-time’ funds that were not used for their original purpose:

The casino aid proposal now offers $9.9 million to casinos by using $5 million left over from an $8 million bailout approved by the General Assembly last year (?). The proposal also uses $3.2 million set aside for the Kent County Sports Complex in the the Delaware Economic Development Office’s job infrastructure fund and the remainder would come from other money available from that fund.

Got that? The “Delaware Economic Development Office’s job infrastructure fund“. And just what are these funds supposed to, um, fund?:

The infrastructure fund for economic development, established in 2012, provides assistance for renovation, construction, or other improvements to roads, utilities and infrastructure to attract new businesses to the state. It also can be used for the expansion of existing state businesses to create jobs, according to the fund’s guidelines.

In other words, that Fund could (and I think should) help fund road and infrastructure improvements. Instead it’s going to bail out the casinos. As to the ‘expansion of existing state businesses to create jobs’, we’re not getting job expansion at the casinos.  In fact, I think Cassandra’s right. The ink won’t be dry on the Governor’s signature before the alarm bells are once again sounded by the casinos. They are now essentially extorting money from the State. Our public officials are paying.

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Wednesday Daily Delawhere [6.25.14]

Filed in National by on June 25, 2014 1 Comment
Wednesday Daily Delawhere [6.25.14]

St. Anthony’s during the Italian Festival in Wilmington, DE. Photo taken by xzmattzx.

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Delaware’s Special Education Program “Needs Intervention”

Filed in Delaware by on June 24, 2014 11 Comments
Delaware’s Special Education Program “Needs Intervention”

Public schools are required to provide the educational resources to meet the needs of students with disabilities can make progress in school. Today, the Obama Administration announced that they were tightening oversight and the rules for assessing whether schools were doing what they are meant to do under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Part of today’s announcement was an assessment of the status of various state’s programs according to the new guidelines. [...]
In that reassessment, Delaware falls into the “Needs Intervention” category.

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