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Matt Denn is Running for AG!

Filed in Delaware by on April 21, 2014 32 Comments
Matt Denn is Running for AG!

Is this the good news of the day or what? From Denn’s website:

[...]But as I have thought about it and talked it over with my family, I’ve realized that the Attorney General’s office would allow me to take a leadership role on some issues that are critical to our state, while still staying involved in the issues involving Delaware’s children that have been the core of my work over the last six years. The Attorney General, as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, must be someone with the judgment, impartiality and will to prosecute and punish those who have violated the laws of our state. He or she should also possess compassion for our most vulnerable residents, a respect for all citizens of our state regardless of their background, and a vision to prevent crime from occurring by combining smart crime prevention with a commitment to providing Delawareans with real opportunity and hope. I believe that I possess these traits. That’s why I have filed to be the Democratic candidate for Attorney General of Delaware in 2014.[...]

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Late Night Video — Tropic Plunder

Filed in National by on April 3, 2014 6 Comments

John Hodgeman explores the options available to persecuted millionaires for not paying taxes on American income from the comfort of his yacht — Going Galt.

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The Good News About Governor Markell’s Downtown Development District Initiative

Filed in Delaware by on April 3, 2014 8 Comments
The Good News About Governor Markell’s Downtown Development District Initiative

Today, Governor Markell has visited Wilmington, Dover and Bridgeville to announce the Downtown Development Initiative. You’ll remember that he discussed this in the State of the State Address and it is one of the multiple revitalization initiatives proposed by the Governor this year. The goal of this plan is to have 3 municipalities (to start, one in each county) propose and apply for a Downtown Development District, where development projects in line with the plan would be eligible for up to a 20% grant-in-aid rebate on investment. Investments could be for a single home — or for larger, transformative projects. The pool of funds available for this is proposed at $7M, shared by those doing the development. If the pool is oversubscribed, then developers would get a smaller share, but all developers would get some rebate. In addition, the Governor proposes to reserve $1.5M in the state’s Historic Tax Credits for use in the Downtown Development Districts, adding some additional incentive to help re-create the State’s Downtowns.

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Sunday Open Thread [3.23.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on March 23, 2014 6 Comments

The always astute Paul Waldman takes to the pages of the WaPo today to diagnose what is wrong with the Sunday Yack Shows. The only reason to watch these shows is to get a handle on the news narrative that is being crafted for the upcoming week. Because the manipulation and laundering of talking points into the reporting narrative *is* what the much vaunted journalistic objectivity looks like from the political reporting machine. This really is a boring exercise — populated with the same old voices, arrayed in spectacularly silly ways — when did it get to be a thing to balance a panel of wingnuts with a journalist? And is there any reason at all for George Will or Peggy Noonan to be on TV still? I get that the Sunday Morning shows are basically Company Town TV, but you’d think that a Company Town with as much people churn as DC has would be able to reach out to more voices.

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Saturday Open Thread [3.22.2014]

Filed in Open Thread by on March 22, 2014 3 Comments

How about that Dianne Feinstein? Looks like she and her husband are making bank on the closing of some Post Offices. Coincidence? Probably not — her husband’s firms made a good deal of money during the BushCo too:

Between 2001 and 2005, Feinstein vetted and approved $1.5 billion in defense contracts for Perini Corp and URS Corporation – both owned by her husband, Richard Blum. In 2009, Feinstein successfully introduced a bill that routed an additional $25 billion to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), some of it for the purpose of marketing foreclosed property owned by banks that had gone under with the housing and markets crash. In a curious twist, CBRE later received a $108 million FDIC contract to market foreclosed property.

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Late Night Video — Penis Pumps Paid for by Medicare

Filed in National by on March 17, 2014 2 Comments

And penile implants too. All the while no one in Congress or any of the schoolmarm crowd who think that women should pay for their own contraceptives never seem to want to ask men to pay for their Viagra, Cialis, penis pumps or even penile implants. Interesting values here, right? Penis pumps should be taxpayer funded while contraceptives should not be. Hmm. Samantha Bee from the Jon Stewart show takes a look at the hypocrisy:

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Late Night Video — A Frozen Father

Filed in National by on March 10, 2014 0 Comments

Who — like very, very many of us — is mightly tired of the “Let It Go” song from the movie Frozen. I’ve only heard this cringeworthy mess a few times and *I’m* over it. Anyway, this Dad wants all of us to Let It Go:

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Are Democrats Hurting Wilmington?

Filed in Delaware by on March 2, 2014 6 Comments
Are Democrats Hurting Wilmington?

That is the question posed by John Sweeney in the NJ Opinion pages today. There’s a fair amount of fluff in this piece, and does a thing I mostly hate from newspaper opinion pages — ask a bunch of questions that its news division is not in the business of helping to answer for its readers. Some of those questions are misdirected — schools are under the jurisdiction of school boards and the state, the city has little influence over how they operate or serve city kids, for instance. And lumping in all Democratically run cities with Wilmington’s story is equally misguided. We can start with the NJ’s own comparison of Providence, RI starts to show how inappropriate this is. A city that is mostly Democratic and is clearly back on a upswing — a city that still has real issues, but a city that the NJ compared to Wilmington in terms of effectiveness in addressing violence. Democratic-run places like Baltimore and Philadelphia also present very different stories — cities that still have more than their fair share of issues, but cities working at the kind of development and change that starts to address those problems. Interestingly, Baltimore has reasonable support from the MD GA, and Philadelphia does not from the PA GA (GOP controlled). But I don’t think that the city’s problem is just about Democrats — I think it is mainly uninspired (and oft-times lazy) governing.

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Predicting the Oscars

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on March 1, 2014 12 Comments
Predicting the Oscars

It is Oscar weekend, with the award show happening this Sunday night. I know there are alot of Oscar watch parties around — including one at Theatre N downtown. If you are a cynic about this entire business, you’ll want to see Deadspin’s The 2014 Hater’s Guide To The Oscars. The best thing about this take is the commentary on 12 Years A Slave (and I hope they are wrong about this movie’s chances of winning):

12 Years A Slave: This movie isn’t winning Best Picture. I can guarantee it. And you know why I can guarantee it? Because people are cowards. Schindler’s List made over $100 million and has been broadcast on network television unedited and without commercial interruption. Ditto Saving Private Ryan. And every installment of the Saw franchise mints a new fortune. Holy shit, are we fascinated by seeing white people killed. Kill them, torture them, mutilate them, have a white girl assaulted on SVU weekly—WE WILL BE THERE. Can’t get enough of it. It’s important to let white people know we support them in their time of suffering.

But ask people to watch a movie about slavery? “WHOA HEY THAT SOUNDS LIKE HOMEWORK! And, God, it just sounds so brutal, you know? I much prefer movies about race to congratulate me and my fellow white theatergoers on our broad-mindedness. Let’s go watch fucking Crash instead.”

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Late Night Video — White Man Breaking Into A Car Vs. Black Man Breaking Into A Car

Filed in National by on February 27, 2014 20 Comments

It’s a social experiment. Want to guess what happens? (This is approx. 1 min 43 seconds)

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Federal Court Says Texas’ Gay Marriage Ban Is Unconsitutional

Filed in National by on February 26, 2014 3 Comments
Federal Court Says Texas’ Gay Marriage Ban Is Unconsitutional

Oh yes, I just wanted to write that headline! Remember that a court striking down Texas’ anti-sodomy laws brought us Lawrence V Texas too — invalidating the remaining anti-sodomy laws on several states’ books. From TPM:

{Judge Orlando} Garcia, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote in his decision that Texas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violates equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

“Texas’ current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason,” he wrote. “Accordingly, the Court finds these laws are unconstitutional and hereby grants a preliminary injunction enjoining Defendants from enforcing Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage.”

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The Mania for Austerity Finally Hits the Military

Filed in National by on February 26, 2014 8 Comments
The Mania for Austerity Finally Hits the Military

You’ve been hearing this week about SecDef Chuck Hagel’s proposed budget for the DOD for FY15. This budget reduced the number of active duty troops, reduces the number of reserve troops, reduces salary increases, requires uniformed staff to contribute more to their health care, reduces retirement benefits and focuses growth in cybersecurity and in Special Forces. It looks to re-orient the Pentagon’s focus on being prepared for two land wars to dealing with current threats of terrorism. And this budget looks as though it accomodates some continued sequestration as well as real spending reduction. Remember as you hear more about this budget that if the US gets out of Afghanistan at the end of this year (as planned), the US won’t be engaged in regular ground wars anywhere. From the WaPo:

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Late Night Video — Denunciation Proclaimation

Filed in National by on February 25, 2014 2 Comments

Jon Stewart and Senior Black Correspondent Larry Wilmore correct the history claimed by Fox News about Abraham Lincoln’s motivation to fight the Civil War. This is unspeakable, even by Fox standards, but Larry Wilmore gets it right:

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Sunday Open Thread [2.23.2014]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 23, 2014 0 Comments
Sunday Open Thread [2.23.2014]

This is an eye-candy Open Thread — a very cool infographic featuring visuals for 50 Incredible Natural Phenomena. The magnetic north one might be controversial, but this infographic is not for creationists:

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Late Night Video — Omnipotent #WaveOfAction

Filed in National by on February 22, 2014 0 Comments

This is pretty intriguing — Eminem, Ice Cube, Korn plus elements of Anonymous put together this video meant to help promote the worldwide Wave of Action on April 4,2014. There’s not a ton of info at the website, but they seem to want to inspire activity around the world (protests, social service, rallies, media projects) plus create celebrations of Occupy at their major protest sites. This video is 4:46:

Anyone know anything more about this event? Let us know in the comments.

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Saturday Open Thread [2.22.2014]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 22, 2014 6 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [2.22.2014]

Michael Tomasky has taken to the NY Review of Books to speculate about A New Populism in the Democratic Party. He sees signs of the party “soft-shoeing” its way leftward:

For example, the Center for American Progress (CAP), under its new president Neera Tanden, has pushed “middle-class” or “middle-out” economics as the left’s alternative to supply-side, trickle-down economics. The idea of middle-out economics is that the government, instead of investing in the top 2 percent by means of tax and other privileges, should instead invest in the broad middle through a number of left-leaning policy choices from which the bounty would radiate out to all sectors of the society. These would include a much higher minimum wage, paid family leave, and improvement of decaying infrastructure. Obama’s Knox College speech on inequality is one expression of the middle-out view in the way it ties middle-class investment to growth.4 CAP has been pushing the White House to take up these arguments, not the other way around.

John Podesta, CAP’s former president, helped launch a new think tank, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, devoted specifically to issues related to inequality. Podesta is now a White House counselor, which gives these issues respected representation in debates in the Roosevelt Room and the Oval Office.

This is all a welcome shift in emphasis, but of course it doesn’t mean that populist policies are going to become reality anytime soon. There is opposition to them within the Democratic Party and its broader policy solar system. Not nearly as much as there once was; the radical rightward shift of the Republican Party has, perhaps inevitably, moved the Democratic center of gravity leftward. But the opposition to populism continues.

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Voters Blame Trade Deals For Job Losses

Filed in National by on February 20, 2014 2 Comments
Voters Blame Trade Deals For Job Losses

Surprised? According to the most recent Gallup Poll, one in four Americans think that jobs is the highest priority problem in America today. It’s almost one in two Americans if you combine concerns for unemployment and the economy. Only 8% of Americans think that the debt or deficit is a high-priority problem (pointed out for the Delaware Congressional delegation, in particular). Take a look:

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Late Night Video — Lessons for Black History Month

Filed in National by on February 19, 2014 1 Comment

From Jon Stewart and Jessica Williams — the real lessons of Black History Month as highlighted by the Jordan Davis case (approx. 3 min 50 sec):

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Witness to Innocence Comes to Delaware

Filed in Delaware by on February 18, 2014 14 Comments
Witness to Innocence Comes to Delaware

These events are sponsored by the Delaware Repeal Project. Witness to Innocence is a group of 15 death row exonerees who are visiting to discuss how flawed the death penalty truly is. I’ve taken the text describing all of these events directly from their FB Event page. Hope to see you at some of these, and be sure to invite your State Rep or Senator too:

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President’s Day Open Thread [2.17.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 17, 2014 32 Comments
President’s Day Open Thread [2.17.14]

Late on Friday, Michael Dunn (the middle-aged white man who shot a black teenager who wouldn’t comply with his demand to turn down his music) was convicted on 4 of the five charges:

Dunn, who is white, fired 10 shots into an SUV, killing Jordan Davis, 17, who was black. The shooting in a convenience store parking lot in Jacksonville erupted after Dunn asked the teenagers in the vehicle to turn down their music.

Dunn was charged with first-degree murder, three counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of firing into a vehicle in the Nov. 23, 2012, shooting. The jury couldn’t reach a decision on the first-degree murder charge, but convicted on the other four.

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The General Assembly is Back to Work and It Is Open Bamboozlement Season for the DE GOP

Filed in Delaware by on February 17, 2014 34 Comments
The General Assembly is Back to Work and It Is Open Bamboozlement Season for the DE GOP

In the past couple of days, the DE GOP (almost extinct) has taken to the NJ editorial pages to push more of their innumerate BS — going back to their message of having all The Government You Can Eat for free. Even though that is not true, they’ve decided that no one will get the math — apparently taking their cue from Colin Bonnini. Both are taking aim at the .10/gallon gas tax proposal, and neither grapple with the fact that there are 1) real costs to getting road improvements and repairs done, 2) there have to be revenues to pay for those costs, or 3) be very clear about what improvements, repairs and programs they would be willing to see die on the vine in order to get the budget in shape:

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Late Night Video — Get Covered!

Filed in National by on February 15, 2014 0 Comments

Bill Maher takes a look at some of the youth-oriented Get Covered posters that didn’t make the cut (approx.2:30 mins):

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Saturday Open Thread [2/15/14]

Filed in Open Thread by on February 15, 2014 10 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [2/15/14]

Even though Volkswagon had no issues with the formation of a union at their plant in Tennessee, the GOP lied and howled and threatened enough to help narrowly defeat a vote for a union yesterday. The take away, of course, is that every time you hear someone in the GOP talk about the middle class or a better deal for workers, you know that is a lie. Because the only people the GOP were defending here were themselves and their anti-union special interests. Of course, you won’t hear one word from the usual “Government should stay out of the way of business” crowd denouncing the GOP’s clear interference with Volkswagon here.

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A Tale of Two Democrats

Filed in Delaware, National by on February 15, 2014 16 Comments
A Tale of Two Democrats

Or at least two types of Democrats.

Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders and 15 other Democratic Senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid in his FY15 budget. It won’t be much of a surprise to most of the readers here to find that neither Senator Carper or Coons signed on to this letter. Interestingly, Senator Coons voted to restore the cuts to military pensions and Carper voted against them. So take a look at what a group of Democrats genuinely interested in the well-being of middle class and working class people urged the President:

Today, retirement insecurity is as high as it has ever been. Only one in five workers in the private sector has a defined benefit pension plan; half of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings; and two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for a majority of their income.

Given this reality, we respectfully urge you not to propose cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits in your Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

In good times and bad, Social Security has succeeded in keeping millions of senior citizens, widows, orphans, and persons with disabilities out of extreme poverty. Before Social Security was developed, about half of our seniors lived in poverty; today senior poverty is down to 9.1 percent. Without Social Security, one-third of senior citizens would have virtually no earnings at all.

Social Security has not contributed one penny to the deficit. Social Security has a surplus of more than $2.7 trillion and can pay every single benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 19 years.

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QOD — Weigh In On the New Delawareonline Interface

Filed in Delaware by on February 14, 2014 19 Comments

Thanks to Steve Newton here, we have a new Question of the Day?

Does anybody else hate the new even-less-functional-than-before Delaware Online interface as badly as I do?

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