cassandra_m's Latest Posts
This Open Thread *may* be late because DD decided to be early to his date with Frank Underwood and the House of Cards crew. Season 2 is on Netflix today and the early reviews strongly point to binge-watching. Apparently even President Obama is a fan, and tweeted a warning for No Spoilers:
This past Sunday, 80K – 100K people from all over the US took to the streets in Raleigh, NC to protest the draconian policies that the GOP are implementing there. The protest, called the Moral March on Raleigh, was kick off of this year’s long Moral Mondays marches in Raleigh — marches that resulted in arrests of non-violent protesters last year.
The “Moral March on Raleigh,” organized by Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) and the North Carolina NAACP, marched from Shaw University to the state capitol to push back against the “immoral and unconstitutional policies” of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory during the 2013 NC General Assembly session. Since North Carolina Republicans took over both legislative chambers in 2010, legislators have eliminated a host of programs and raised taxes on the bottom 80 percent, repealed a tax credit for 900,000 working families, enforced voter suppression efforts, blocked Medicaid coverage, cut pre-Kindergarten funding, cut federal unemployment benefits, and gave itself the authority to intervene in abortion lawsuits.
Vice President Joe Biden joked this week that being able to drive his Corvette – is one good reason not to run. But, when asked to give another good reason not to run, Biden responded simply.
“There may be reasons I don’t run, but there’s no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run,” he said in the interview with Kate Bolduan on CNN’s “New Day.”
Biden went on to say he would make a decision “realistically, a year this summer.”
Is it me, or is this a little late? Realistically, there ought to be operations need to get stood up in Iowa and NH right around then right?
In a bit of good news for freedom of speech, Beau Biden’s office has withdrawn its subpoena to find out who Peaceful Rioters for Wilmington, Delaware is. The relevant bit:
“They decided it wasn’t essential to the investigation and that’s a good thing,’’ MacRae said. “They have to be very discriminatory when they seek private information like that.’’
Joseph S. Grubb, the chief New Castle County prosecutor, said Biden’s top supervisors decided this week to withdraw the subpoena because the information would not further the criminal case – not because of criticism or opposition.
“The investigation kind of took a turn,’’ Grubb said. “It’s proven less likely there’s a relevant connection’’ between the creators of Peaceful Rioters and the Hockessin-area missives about top county officials.
Translation: We got caught in a fishing expedition and we’re trying to put a good face on our backing out of this strategy.
Dan Gaffney had Chip Flowers on his program yesterday to talk about the press release that Chip sent out trumpting how much money the Treasury has made for the state. The conversation rapidly gets to other subjects, but it occurs to me that even Chip can no longer keep track of his own spin. You can listen to the interview here, it’s about 10 minutes long.
PPP does some interesting polling in Alaska, finding that Hillary Clinton leads Sarah Palin in a matchup for President (44-43), with Palin still having pretty awful approval ratings (39% approve). Alaskans overwhelmingly approve of legalizing pot for medical purposes (74-22) and by a smaller, but still majority margin for recreational use (55-39). I’m especially interested in the polling for a referendum measure that looks to repeal Senate Bill 21, the Oil and Gas Production Tax which provided a big tax cut to carbon energy companies. This was a controversial thing and right now Alaskans say they will vote to repeal 43-31%. People do know when they are being screwed over for special interests and maybe if more of these had to be voted upon by taxpayers, there’d be fewer efforts to pad the pockets of the people paying for elections. The caveat, of course, is who knows what will happen with the special interests ramp up their fear and loathing campaigns.
Co-signing this — there may be plenty of reasons to object to Coke and their products, but a well-executed commercial that highlights one of their longstanding branding ideas (DIVERSITY) ain’t one of them:
Bicycling magazine is conducting its annual survey of the best of local biking advocacy groups and our own Bike Delaware is on the list of nominees. They are nominated for ending the Share the Road idea — controversial, but highly ambiguous in noting exactly *who* was expected the Share the Road. Apparently motorists thought it was cyclists who were doing the sharing and cyclists thought it was motorists. Getting rid of that sign removes the ambiguity and was an idea that even DelDOT’s traffic engineers loved
The NJ editorial this AM takes on the case of the subpoena to Peaceful Rioters (from Facebook). Frankly, I wished they would have called for all of the potential parties involved in this thing to cease and desist (I mean, who doesn’t see Setting’s claim of investigation the hateful material delivered to that Hokessin family as anything but a useful cover?). There are far too many Delaware Way hands who have their fingers in the pie here and I really hope that a judge gets to ask point blank exactly why Setting thinks there is a connection to Peaceful Rioters. Seriously, there are plenty of things for the AG to worry about — not the least of which is the illegal trafficking of guns to Delaware; an unfinished implementation of the Crime-Free Rental Housing Program or even the serious conflicts of interest present in Connections employees being on Wilmington City Council. Right?
Inequality for All is a great documentary that gives Robert Reich an opportunity to explain in great detail how and why the most powerful middle-class on the planet is now shrinking and fighting for survival. I saw this in the fall and it is as entertaining as it is sobering. Pacem in Terris is sponsoring a showing of this film — so-sponsored with Common Cause Delaware — Tuesday, January 28th at 7pm at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. The church is located at 1502 W 13th St, Wilmington, DE 19806. I think the showing is free (somebody confirm?), but they usually ask for a free will donation to help defray costs.
We didn’t get to talk about this on Thursday when he delivered this address, but I hope you all had a chance to see it or to read it (there is a video of the address as well as a transcript of the speech at the link). The Governor choose the theme of Unleashing the Potential in Every Delawarean, which is certainly an excellent launching point to get to job, school, infrastructure investment as well as revitalization opportunities for Delaware downtowns. Here’s a summary of the major points from a recent press release from the Governor’s office:
This has been just everyplace, but just in case, this fun parody of Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon is posted for your amusement:
The News Journal this Sunday morning prints a long piece that purports to look at the “pay for play” culture in Delaware politics. It is interesting, since they don’t really get much into real instances of pay for play, with the exception of the possibility of the Stolz project. Also interesting since one of the people who has been convicted for improper political donations was frustrated enough by the process to scream at his judge that he never got anything for his contributions (Zimmerman). Most of this looks at the charges being thrown at Veasey that he was too light on the people he looked at — pretty much coming down on the side that there wasn’t much there for Veasey to work with. This seems to be the place that any reform effort needs to point towards:
The problem Veasey faced is that the state’s election law is a “Mickey Mouse statute,” Hurley said. “It’s poorly drafted and full of holes.”
Dana Milbank wants to know where the outrage is from Democrats over the cuts to unemployment benefits. He notes that this kind of thing used to be real red meat for OG Democrats to beat up the GOP over. And I agree with him — you can’t effectively launch an effort to critique income inequality in the US without starting to wrap the problem around the GOP’s neck. Even though there is plenty of Democratic policy that has been complicit in this. But the GOP has been wringing its hands over paying for these extended benefits, so where are the Dems offering to eliminate the subsidies to oil companies as a way to pay for this?
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this: I mean listening to you this morning if the Republicans continue to throw up the kind of opposition you’ve been receiving, you say you’ve been receiving, do you have plans to extend this ban on filibusters? Right now you’ve– you’ve worked out this rule which they vehemently oppose that– so they– it’s very difficult for him to filibuster nominations. Would you be willing to just go to a Senate where just majority rules and that’s it?
SENATOR HARRY REID: Well, Bob, I think it’s something that we have to understand.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So you’re thinking about that?
We talked about this here, when this item first came onto the City Council calendar. Monday — January 6, 2014 — at 5:00 is the Finance Committee hearing that will explore this proposal in some detail. You can see the agenda for the meeting here — this is the only item on the schedule. The meeting is open to the public, and is going to be held in the 1st Floor Council Workshop room (next to the Council Chambers) in the Redding Bldg. Pass this info along to anyone you think will be interested in what happens here.
Pope Francis has been in the business of afflicting the comfortable recently and one of the comfortable has issues — noting that the Pope doesn’t understand American rich people and that donations by rich American Catholics might now be at risk:
At issue is an effort to raise $180 million for the restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York being spearheaded by billionaire Ken Langone, the investor known for founding Home Depot, among other things.
Langone told CNBC that one potential seven-figure donor is concerned about statements from the pope criticizing market economies as “exclusionary,” urging the rich to give more to the poor and criticizing a “culture of prosperity” that leads some to become “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”
That is the title of the NJ article that tries to summarize the investigation that resulted in the recent report from special prosecutor E. Norman Veasey. If you are interested, you can also read the entire 101 pages of the report here (pdf). I haven’t finished reading the whole of the document, but here are a few thoughts:
How to Legalize Cannibis – Please. Get this done soon — Mark Kleinman is looking for some good discussion in how to do it well:
The initiative process may be the only way of accomplishing legalization in some states, but the ordinary process of legislation, where feasible, is likely to yield better outcomes.
The bulk of the revenue of a legal cannabis industry, like the bulk of the revenue of the beer industry, will come from people with substance abuse disorder. Thus the commercial interest will be opposed to the public interest in minimizing the growth of the clinically impaired population.
In the face of the lobbying power of the cannabis industry, it will be difficult to maintain high taxes or tight regulation. A state-monopoly system at retail might be preferable. The doctrine of “commercial free speech” makes the regulatory problem harder; one advantage of a state monopoly would be better consumer information. But the state lotteries demonstrate that a revenue-driven state monopoly can be just as ruthless as any private enterprise.
This is a comment rescue, from a piece that John Manifold linked to for us from Delaware State News, where Chip Flowers is still trying to avoid taking responsibility for the basic management of his office. This time, he wants you to know that the OMB is responsible for terminating an exempt employee that he hired. And “politics” is at fault for the OMB leaving him with the Personnel bag, as it were, even though the employee has already resigned and is done with her medical leave:
As pointed out in the open thread last night, the Deputy State Treasurer has been denied her request to return to a Merit job following her medical leave and resignation from the Department of the Treasury. So we have an employee of the Treasury who resigned her office, but took a medical leave to deal with an unnamed situation, who is back in the office now (doing what?) and is now told by OMB that she will not be allowed to return to the merit system. And of course, Chip Flowers is still pointing fingers (at the OMB) and is now threatening them:
“I am very concerned that the OMB continues to publicly talk about personnel matters, which clearly violates the state’s privacy and confidentiality policies,” Flowers said. “While I recognize that Director Visalli and the staff of OMB, if the state gets sued, would not have to write a personal check, I think it’s egregious they’re willing to put taxpayers on the hook for a large lawsuit just to cover their you-know-whats in public.”
The ever hapless but ever blustering Sheriff Christopher has signed on to an effort to not enforce President Obama’s gun control laws — whatever they might be. If you look at this list of associations and Sheriff’s who have signed on to this idiocy, you can definitely tell that the completely non-law enforcement Christopher is hoping that no one will notice that he is not wearing the grownup’s long pants at this table. He can’t enforce anything, so here he is pretending he really does belong at the grownup table. But the other thing that is funny about this bit of wingnuttery is that there are new gun control laws right in his own backyard that he can’t be bothered to claim to not be enforcing. Maybe he won’t enforce these laws in where ever it is that he is supposed to be moving to after being smacked down by the state courts.