cassandra_m's Latest Posts
A memo from David Ledford to NJ reporters, editors and other staff went out with a list of the new job descriptions that NJ employees need to fit into (see below). You’ll recall that NJ employees are going to be required to re-apply for their jobs, re-interview I suppose, and convince whoever is in charge of this business that they should still be around. After reading the memo and the Job Descriptions (see below), this is just an odd thing. It certainly looks like they are using this exercise to orient themselves to the web and it looks like they are going to reduce positions. It isn’t immediately clear that some of the folks on the editorial page would fit into this order. Which (even though they make me mad sometimes) seems like a waste of knowledge. I understand that some of the NJ folks have already decided that they will not re-apply and are walking away. Over the past year, that’s quite the exodus of local knowledge.
Over the weekend, the Gordon Administration started releasing some details in the planned trip to Denmark for a library tour by the Community Services Manager and an Administrative Librarian. The NJ article now has some estimates of the cost of the trip for two people and the planned dates of travel. There’s also some estimates of the costs of previous trips. The NJ is still pursuing its FOIA request for this data. Still — it’s all so much bull:
Some council members said they had never been briefed on the project. When they were finally given details last week, the Denmark trip was left out of the presentation. One council member happened to ask about it because he had heard a rumor.
“They all knew the principle behind this, which was to design the best library in the country,” Gordon said of council. “To attack that, it looks like we’re fighting and hurts our ability to attract more partners.”
This week’s unnecessary controversy is over a planned trip to Denmark (!) by Community Services Manager, Sophia Hanson, and an unnamed other county employee to inspect a library that apparently they think is a model for what they want to do with the planned library across the street (sort of) from Chris Bullock’s church on Rt 9. County Council did not know of this trip until Councilman George Smiley asked about it after a presentation on this library this week. It isn’t clear that any one knows much more about this trip, but Adam Taylor of the NJ asked for more detail and was pretty much told that the County won’t release more information on this because the County Executive thinks that the NJ is just going to do a hit piece:
County spokesman Tony Prado said Friday that Gordon administration officials would not talk about the trip. They wouldn’t say who was going, when the trip is scheduled to take place, how much it will cost, whose idea it was, or why it is necessary to visit a library in Denmark.
“The executive is concerned this is going to be a negative story and he doesn’t want to comment,” Prado said. “This has been a project that is near and dear to his heart, and the executive feels like this is going to be a hit piece, so he would just rather not comment.”
Yesterday, the bombing of ISIL targets in Syria started in earnest.. Even though there is stated coalition to take on this task, right now it seems that the US is doing the heavy lifting. No surprise, I imagine. I’m interested in this question posed by Andrew Sullivan: Does The GOP Really Give A Shit About The Debt?:
I mean: where are the fiscal conservatives now? The ISIS campaign is utterly amorphous and open-ended at this point – exactly the kind of potentially crippling government program Republicans usually want to slash. It could last more than three years (and that’s what they’re saying at then outset); the cost is estimated by some to be around $15 billion a year, but no one really knows. The last phase of the same war cost, when all was said and done, something close to $1.5 trillion – and our current travails prove that this was one government program that clearly failed to achieve its core original objectives, and vastly exceeded its original projected costs.
Hundreds of students in a Colorado school district walked out of class to protest another conservative effort to rewrite history and control the information we get:
Hundreds of students walked out of classrooms around suburban Denver on Tuesday in protest over a conservative-led school board proposal to focus history education on topics that promote citizenship, patriotism and respect for authority, in a show of civil disobedience that the new standards would aim to downplay.
Got that? The conservatives in this school district want to replace an education in American History with “patriotic” indoctrination.
Easy question — the NFL head office gets to operate as a non-profit (even though individual teams pay taxes), exempt from Federal taxes. There’s probably not a ton of money involved in eliminating this tax subsidy, but there is no reason my a sports league (even if it is the head office only) to no have to pay taxes. It isn’t as though the NFL needs any special incentives to operate or to make money. They squeeze enough of those out of the taxpayers of the cities they play in. And apparently, professional hockey and professional golf have the same deal. Seriously?
This issue has been percolating for awhile, especially since this was announced by the Governor’s office as a Major Education Initiative — and it turns out that this isn’t about education, but about moving around teachers and school leadership to continue to pretend to do something about Wilmington’s failing schools. The NJ writes about this today:
The Delaware Department of Education says six low-income schools in Wilmington are failing, and the way to fix them is to make the more than 200 teachers reapply for their jobs – and to hire elite principals at each school who won’t have to follow most district rules while earning annual salaries of $160,000.
Mark Murphy, secretary of education, says it’s necessary for teachers to reapply for their jobs to ensure that every educator in the six “priority” schools has the commitment and skill to improve student achievement, as measured by the state’s standardized tests.
Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.
If you have data in the iCloud, this does not apply, but I like locking down your devices from law enforcement not just as a privacy standard, but also as a marketing differentiator. All of the rest of the cell phone purveyors need to offer this level of privacy immediately.
Stealing this from Geezer in the Sunday Daily Delawhere thread:
I’ll treat this as the open thread so I can post this link to Thomas Frank’s piece from Salon, which is the best thing I’ve read so far this morning.
John Manifold responds Geezer’s post of the Frank article with this:
Thomas Frank : Ezra Klein
Rousseau : Voltaire
It’s the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and there are memorials and remembrances everywhere. You can see the front pages of newspapers worldwide as printed on 9/12 from the Newseum. Here’s the NJ front page from that day:
He argues in this piece over at Town Square Delaware that seniors who are taking advantage of Medicare Part D subsidies and co-pays are stealing. To be fair, the analogies and even the basic metaphor here are incredibly tortured. Starting with trying to make the hold up a bunch of convenience stores somehow the equivalent of presenting an insurance card to get a discount on medications, then moving on to claim that savings from the Medicare Part D aren’t savings, then working at trying to wrap around all of it around no free lunches, government taking, the NJ needing to report better and Astra Zeneca laying people off. (This was sent to be by a GOP pal, who noted in his email to me “You will have a field day with this!”)
The President interrupts your Prime Time at 9PM EDT to tell the nation about his plan to deal with ISIL. The Guardian has a good overview of what to expect from tonight’s speech, because apparently the American outlets are occupied with 1) the optics, 2) the horserace, 3) the appetite of Americans for bloodshed and 4) President Obama’s poll numbers. Sheesh.
You’ll find spinning wheels at the top of Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare and other top sites today, as they take part in Internet Slowdown Day. While sites won’t slow down for real, participating Internet companies will be covered with the symbolic loading icons “to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like,” the organizers write on their website.
It’s all part of a push to get the Federal Communications Commission to enact stronger protections for net neutrality. “We’re going to reach millions and millions of people who have never heard the words “net neutrality” before,” writes Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer. The group advocates for tougher net neutrality protections.
Interesting, I haven’t noticed the slowdown yet — have you?
The real news of the day is that turnout seemed to have been abysmally light all over. Even the NCC DOE took to Facebook to say how light the turnout was and to urge people to vote. But the polls are closed now and candidates should be getting the final numbers of the day. Are you working on a campaign today? What was it like out there?
Took long enough, right? We’re ready with our endorsements, after a simple vote. We did not require a unanimous decision to endorse, but I think we pretty nearly were unanimous on these. This is who your charming and knowledgeable Editors endorse for tomorrow’s primary:
As states restrict the ability of women to get legal abortions, there will be more stories like this:
A Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to up to 18 months in prison for obtaining so-called abortion pills online and providing them to her teenage daughter to end her pregnancy.
Jennifer Ann Whalen, 39, of Washingtonville, a single mother who works as a nursing home aide, pleaded guilty in August to obtaining the miscarriage-inducing pills from an online site in Europe for her daughter, 16, who did not want to have the child.
Whalen was sentenced on Friday by Montour County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Norton to serve 12 months to 18 months in prison for violating a state law that requires abortions to be performed by physicians.[...]
Whalen told authorities there was no local clinic available to perform an abortion and her daughter did not have health insurance to cover a hospital abortion, the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg reported.
And this is what the War on Women looks like — criminalizing what shouldn’t even be the state’s business.
It’s been GOTV weekend here in Delaware and there are still races that are worth talking about — witness Mike Protack running against Janet Kilpatrick for NCCo Council proudly waving the flag for Metropolitan government (joining the governments of Wilmington and NCCo):
If elected, Protack said he would push for a metropolitan government in which the county would take over most functions from the city of Wilmington, which he called “a giant anchor” for New Castle County. He claimed without county intervention the government would be bankrupt, like Detroit, within five years.
“It could be a shining diamond, so it’s really a shame,” he said. “We need to save it from itself.”
The incomparable Jay Smooth works in this new video (about 2 and a half minutes long) at trying to round up the current set of rules for women so that women can get their humanity respected. After trying to grapple with the ever changing rules that (mostly) men prescribe for women to be able to make their way unassaulted in the world for awhile, he does note that it might be easier to provide a list for men:”Hello, Asshole. Women are human beings.” BAM! Still, let the mansplaining begin.
The Washington Post published Five things to know about Delaware’s election, noting that there are no Bidens on the ballot and noting that Beau Biden has gotten large contributions from Peter Angelos and the Buccini Brothers. They also note that Brenda Mayrack seems to be cruising in this primary and that Kevin Wade might be tilting at windmills. Smink has a COD endorsement? Yikes.
Today was the Labor Day Parade in Downtown Wilmington — a long-standing tradition of organized labor, their families and supporters and (during an election year) politicians who want to be seen supporting labor marching down King St. This year, the union rat was also on parade courtesy of the Building Trades (I’m told — I was not at the parade this year) and this year, they put the face of John Kowalko on it — in protest of his not supporting the Newark Data Center. Pretty despicable behavior — especially towards someone who is routinely supportive of labor issues in Dover. Even more delusional when you factor in the fact that Rep. Kowalko was actually representing his *constituents* in the Data Center matter. Even union members can get that sometimes the people that actually vote in an area are pretty important to hear — and in the long run, it isn’t as though they’d be able to replace him with someone who is more committed to labor issues. I’ll also point out that these folks taking the cowards’ route in criticizing Kowalko today haven’t been able to find anyone who could credibly run against him — and seriously labor folks, if you think you can get someone more supportive of your agenda AND make those residents happy, then man up and get that person to run against Kowalko. Otherwise, what you did today was not worthy of what today is supposed to represent and it was just basic bullshit. A picture (thanks to my anonymous source) of today’s labor bullshit is here:
So now we have a new bit of right-wing foolishness to live through — Right wing launches misguided protest against Labor Day. Got that? A protest against Labor Day, folks.
But to the Freedom Foundation, a business-backed Olympia think tank, the day is evidence of the power of unions, which to members equals the decline of America. Rather than stoop to taking a union-backed day off, they plan to fight the power by … working all day Monday instead!
“I can’t think of a problem in society that can’t be traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor, so it would be hypocritical of us to take a day off on its behalf,” said Freedom Foundation CEO Tom McCabe, in announcing the “work-in.”